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Author of "The Russian Revolution" 






Copyright, 1919, hy 
Frederick A. Stokes Compant 

AU rights reserved, including that of translaiion 
into foreign languages 

MAR 31 1919 



The collapse of the Eussian, Turkish, Austro- 
Hungarian and German empires set free a large 
number of oppressed nationalities. This book 
aims to present, from a strictly impartial view- 
point, the cases of those of the liberated races and 
peoples of the fallen four empires which have 
awakened to the call of nationalism and now de- 
mand the early attention of the world's public 
opinion. Each of the eighteen chapters of the 
book deals with a particular national problem. 

The purpose of the writer has been to give to 
the average reader an unbiased, clear, authorita- 
tive summary of the history and present status of 
the nationalities discussed. Is it necessary to re- 
fer to the patent fact that both the United States 
and Europe are flooded by an actual torrent of 
conflicting, confusing, misleading statements by 
the advocates of the antagonistic nationalities 
clamoring for the public's support? To recite to 
the bewildered reader the sober truth, while sym- 
pathetic toward the cause of oppressed national- 
ism, is what I endeavored to do in these pages. 

In order to avoid misunderstanding, I wish to 
state here that this book is entirely new and does 


not contain any of the seven articles on the new 
nations which I wrote for The New York Tribune 
in 1917. Also, this work is not a discussion of 
the problem of nationality and is not an effort on 
the part of the author to solve the various national 
questions. It is not a controversial treatise, but 
a popular history. If the information it contains 
will contribute to the clarification in the public's 
mind of the fundamental facts regarding the 
emancipated nationalities of Europe and the Near 
East, its object will have been attained. 

Isaac Don Levine 

New York Qty 
March, 1919 


Part I 


I. Czecho-Slovakia 3 

II. Jugoslavia . 33 

III. Albania . 66 

IV. Ukraine 83 

V. Poland 105 

VI. Lithuania 132 

VII. Lettonia 146 

VIII. Esthonia 163 

IX. Finland 172 

Part II 

I. Arabia 193 

II. Palestine 211 

III. Syria . 227 

IV. Mesopotamia . 238 

V. Assyria 245 

YI. Kurdistan 254 




VII. Armenia 263 

VIII. Georgia 292 

IX. Azerbaijan 303 


I. Czecho-Slovaki a, Jugoslavia AND Albania 31 
11. Ukraine and Poland 103 

III. Lithuania, Lettonia, Esthonia and Fin- 

land 161 

IV. Arabia, Palestine, Syria, and Mesopo- 

^■^^, TAMIA 225 

V. Assyria, Kurdistan, Armenia, Georgia, 

AND Azerbaijan 261 

Pabt I 



Of all the romantic national resurrections of 
the Great War the romance of the birth of Czecho- 
slovakia is the most wonderful. Perhaps never 
before in the history of nations was the regener- 
ation of a people accompanied by such glory as 
that which attended the rise of the Czecho-Slovaks 
from the mediaeval darkness that was Austria- 
Hungary. In 1914 they were one of the least 
known of the world's oppressed nationalities; the 
Poles, the Finns, the Jews had attracted much 
more attention than the little heroic nation that 
preserved its identity in spite of centuries of 
grinding between the German and Magyar mill- 
stones. Hereafter none of the newly risen nations 
will overshadow the Czecho-Slovaks. 

Czecho-Slovakia's existence as a sovereign na- 
tion has already been determined by the deeds of 
its own sons. Some of the liberated nationalities 
look to the great powers helpless, in quest of jus- 
tice. Others may become ' ' spheres of influence ' ' of 
certain powerful states. But the Czecho-Slovaks 
have won their independence in the course of the 



war by force of arms, and have secured it by con- 
tributing materially to the collapse of the Central 
Powers. Czecho-Slovakia is, therefore, a full- 
fledged member of the European family of nations. 

The Czecho-Slovaks were the pioneers of the 
Slavs in Europe, forming a bulwark against the 
German onslaughts toward the east. It has been 
said that the Czecho-Slovaks made possible the 
rise and development of Poland, and it was the 
latter, together with Lithuania, that stopped the 
Teutonic movement in the direction of Russia, 
preventing the formation between the Dnieper and 
the Rhine of a huge German empire. 

The Czecho-Slovaks penetrated into the very 
heart of Europe, establishing themselves in the 
geographical center of the continent. The Czechs 
and the Slovaks are one and the same race, but 
were early divided by their conquerors. The first, 
inhabiting Bohemia, Moravia and some sections 
of Silesia, were incorporated with Austria. The 
second, living in so-called Slovakia, were subju- 
gated by the Magj^ars and became part of Hun- 
gary. United, the land of the Czecho-Slovaks is 
bounded on the north by Germany and Poland; 
on the west by Germany ; on the south by Austria 
and Hungary, and on the east by Ukraine. Geo- 
graphically, then, the Czecho-Slovaks formed the 
very backbone of the disrupted Dual Monarchy. 
Numerically, they were far from being a negli- 
gible quantity, as there are about seven and a 


half million Czechs and three million Slovaks. 
Economically, Bohemia was the most developed 
and productive part of Austria, yielding five times 
as much coal as the rest of the State, twice as 
many agricultural products, and bearing sixty- 
three per cent, of Austria's taxation. 

The history of the Czechs goes back almost to 
the beginning of the Christian era. Nearly two 
thousand years ago their forefathers waged bit- 
ter warfare against the Teutons. They established 
their supremacy after several centuries of 
struggle, and already in the seventh century Bo- 
hemia emerges as a consolidated nation. Chris- 
tianity was introduced into Moravia in the ninth 
century by two Greek missionaries, and was fol- 
lowed by an expansion of the country resulting 
in the creation of a great state comprising Bo- 
hemia proper, Moravia, Slovakia, part of Silesia 
and Galicia. Then came the Magyars. In 907 
they overran Slovakia and Moravia, establishing 
themselves permanently in the former province. 
A war ensued which afforded an opportunity to 
Boleslaw the Brave, of Poland, to place his brother 
on the Bohemian throne. The latter, in order to 
keep himself in power, invoked German aid and 
protection, opening a thousand-year struggle be- 
tween the Czechs and Germans. 

In the eleventh and twelfth centuries the Ger- 
man rulers sought to secure for themselves the 
Bohemian crown, provoking internal dissension 


favoring their designs. However, early in the 
thirteenth centuiy a purely Czech dynasty was 
set up in Bohemia, which soon became, under 
Ottakar II, a powerful state, extending as far \ 
south as the Adriatic. This ruler became involved 
in a war with Rome at a time when internal 
strife pervaded his empire and lost all his newly 
won possessions, dying in battle against the Habs- 
burg Emperor Rudolph, in 1278. Twenty-eight 
years later his grandson was assassinated, ending 
the native dynasty. The German rulers of the 
Roman Empire claimed the Bohemian throne, and 
John of Luxemburg, son of Emperor Henry, was, 
after some unhappy choices, elected by the Czechs 
to be their king. He was a friend of France, estab- 
lishing close relations between the French and 
the Czechs. King John was succeeded by his son, 
Charles, who raised the prestige and power of 
Bohemia to great heights. He was the chosen 
head of the Roman Empire, but made Prague his 
capital and founded a great university there. 
Civilization made tremendous progress in Bo- 
hemia during his reign, and Charles is still re- 
garded by the Czechs as the greatest ruler in the 
history of their country. He devoted all his ener- 
gies to the task of upbuilding and uplifting 
Bohemia, dying in the midst of his labors in 1378. 
It was during the reign of his successor that the 
epoch-making movement for church reform, which 
had taken root iU Bohemia, assumed definite shape 


under the leadership of John Huss, the first cham- 
pion of freedom of thought in Europe in the 
Middle Ages, preceding Luther by a century. The 
Hussite cause was more than a fight against the 
corruption of the Roman Church; it was also a 
Czech national movement. Nearly the entire 
nation followed Huss and adopted his doctrines. 
He was tried at Constance by a religious council, 
declared a heretic, and burned at the stake on July 
6, 1415. Among the articles of accusation at the 
trial was one stating that Huss had instigated 
among his countrymen national hatred against the 
Germans. To this he replied: "I have affirmed 
and yet affirm that Bohemians should by right 
have the chief place in the offices of the Kingdom 
of Bohemia, even as they that are French-born in 
the Kingdom of France, and the Germans in their 
own countries, where the Bohemian might have 
the faculty to rule his people and the Germans 
bear rule over the Germans." The martyrdom 
of Huss was of inestimable value to the Czech 
national movement. 

' ' The murderers of John Huss were able to bum 
his quivering body and scatter its ashes in the 
River Rhine," writes Professor Charles D. Hazen. 
''Bat they could not extinguish the glory and the 
power of his life and teaching. As has so often 
happened in this world, those who sat in the seats 
of the mighty proved unnecessarily purblind. 
The vivid human spirit is a spark that is not 


easily snuffed out but very easily sets the world 
in conflagration. It was so in the instance of John 
Huss, wliose fate inflamed the entire Czech nation 
to avenge his death. The famous Hussite Wars, 
wars of religion, also racial wars, revealed the 
Czechs to themselves and to all Europe, and 
stamped indelible glory upon the Bohemian flag 
and created a legend, a legend true and authentic, 
which has set Czech blood tingling ever since with 
the ecstasy of national pride, of national devotion. 

**It is no wonder that this people is hopelessly 
wedded to the ideas of liberty and independence. 
The spirit of the nation was adequately and 
superbly expressed once and for all in the person 
of John Huss. Happy, indeed, is that people 
which has constantly in the forefront of its con- 
sciousness so unblemished a character, so dis- 
tinguished an intellect, so noble a life. For his 
devotion to the two supreme principles of individ- 
ual and national freedom John Huss paid with his 
life. He never once deflected from his principles, 
he never flinched before the hideous fate which 
the brutality of his age devised for him. No 
nation in the world possesses a more dazzling 
oriflamme than Bohemia possesses in the career 
of John Huss." 

The death of Huss was the signal for a long 
and bloody struggle. The Czech nobles met and 
passed a resolution of protest against the execu- 
tion of Huss, whom they characterized as ''a good, 


just and Catholic man who had for many years 
been favorably known in the kingdom by his life, 
conduct and fame, and who had been convicted of 
no offense," adding that his accusers were ''liars, 
vile traitors and calumniators of Bohemia and 
Moravia, the worst of all heretics, full of all evil, 
sons of the devil." This protest was despatched 
to the council at Constance and was taken as a 
declaration of war by the Roman Church. In the 
battles that followed the German settlers of Bo- 
hemia supported the Roman Church. However, 
the Czechs, led by the blind Zizka, a popular hero, 
fought valiantly, repeatedly defeating the enemy 
forces, and ended with invasion of Hungary and 
the German states. The Roman Church was com- 
pelled to make concessions and recognize the 

With the passing of the external danger there 
developed in Bohemia a long quarrel over the 
status of the monarchy, whether it was elective 
or hereditary. The country was divided into two 
parties. King Matthias, of Hungary, took ad- 
vantage of the internal strife and invaded Mo- 
ravia. Supported by the Catholics, he was pro- 
claimed King of Bohemia, in opposition to George 
of Podebrad, the leader of the national, Hussite, 
elements. There were thus two kings ruling over 
the Czechs. With the death of George, Matthias 
of Hungary appeared to have obtained control 
over Bohemia,, but the Hussites proceeded to 


elect Prince Wladislaw of Poland as their king. 
There ensued a protracted struggle between the 
two rulers, which ended in 1490, when Wladislaw 
was chosen, upon the death of Matthias, to the 
Hungarian throne. During the reign of Wladislaw 
serfdom was introduced into Bohemia, and the 
nobles were granted privileges which they had 
never possessed. Wladislaw died in 1516, and his 
son Louis, King of Hungary, and successor to the 
Bohemian throne, perished in 1526 in a campaign 
against the Turks. 

That was a fateful year in the history of the 
Czech people, marking the establishment of Habs- 
burg rule over Bohemia, a rule which was to last 
nearly four centuries, carrying with it oppression, 
persecution and desolation. A diet representing 
the nobles, clergy and townsmen gave to Archduke 
Ferdinand of Austria, of the Habsburgs, the Bo- 
hemian crown on October 23, 1526. Ferdinand 
was an ambitious ruler and succeeded, in spite of 
some opposition, in promulgating a charter stat- 
ing that he had been elected King of Bohemia be- 
cause of the hereditary claims of his wife, Anna. 
Then came the great Protestant movement in Ger- 
many which was related to the Hussite cause. 
The German Protestants, hard pressed by Rome, 
whose emperor was a brother of Ferdinand, ap- 
pealed to the Czechs for support. On the other 
hand, the Roman ruler appealed to his brother 
for aid to suppress the Protestauts. Ferdinand 


made an attempt to raise an army, but it refused 
to follow him into Germany. The Czechs had a 
number of grievances against Ferdinand and rose 
against him, meeting in a national assembly to 
demand the re-establishment of the electiveness 
of the monarchy, religious liberty, and other 
rights. An army was raised by the assembly for 
the purpose of lending support to the German 
Protestants, but it was too late as the Protestants 
in Germany had been crushed. Ferdinand then 
forced the Czechs to renounce their sympathy for 
the reformers of Germany. He returned to his 
country and occupied Prague with an army of 
foreign mercenaries, punished the leaders of the 
revolt, and persecuted the Czechs in various ways. 
He established the Jesuits in Bohemia, and they 
proved a very oppressive factor in Bohemian 
national life. He also succeeded in making the 
Bohemian throne hereditary for the Habsburgs, 
which definitely placed Bohemia under Austrian 

For a century the Hussites were hard pressed 
by the Habsburg rulers and their Jesuits. The 
Czechs and the Hussites now became identical. 
The Habsburgs and the Catholics were one and 
the same, on the other hand. The struggle that 
went on from generation to generation in Bo- 
hemia was therefore a religious-political move- 
ment. The Czechs continued to demand religious 
liberty. The Catholics, supported by the Habs- 


burgs, did not relax their persecution of the Hus- 
sites. With the accession to the throne, in June, 
1617, of Ferdinand, Duke of Styria, who was a 
fanatical opponent of the Protestants, a crisis in 
the Bohemian situation was not long delayed. Due 
to the aggression of the Catholics, a revolt was 
precipitated in May, 1618, which was in fact the 
beginning of the Thirty Years' War. The rebel- 
lion was a movement on the part of the Czechs 
to get rid of the Habsburgs, to win religious and 
national freedom. King Ferdinand was formally 
deposed and a Protestant prince elected king. 
This was the signal for the bitter religious wars 
that involved nearly all of Europe, and which were 
fought mostly on Bohemian territory. 

At the beginning of this period of warfare Bo- 
hemia had a population of three million; at its 
end there were only eight hundred thousand in- 
habitants left in Bohemia. Protestantism was 
wiped out with fire and sword. The Czech nobility 
was mercilessly rooted out and their lands con- 
fiscated. Bohemia's ancient rights were abro- 
gated. Catholicism was forced upon the surviv- 
ing population, while in place of the Bohemian 
aristocracy an alien ruling class was planted by 
the Habsburgs. With the downfall of Czech 
national power also came the end of Bohemian 
literature which had flourished in the fifteenth and 
sixteenth centuries. The Jesuits made it one of 
their chief purposes to destroy systematically the 


Czecli literature. One Jesuit leader boasted that 
"he had himself burned no fewer than 60,000 
Czech volumes ! ' ' The Czechs were made the sub- 
jects of Austria and their land became a province 
of the absolute monarchy of the Habsburgs. 

From 1620, when the battle of the White Moun- 
tain, in which the Czechs were disastrously beaten, 
was fought, up to the nineteenth century, Czech 
national life was extinguished. The Jesuits pro- 
moted the work of Germanization through their 
control of the educational institutions. When 
the grip of the Jesuits was broken through the 
suppression of their order, the Habsburgs ini- 
tiated their own policy of Germanization. In the 
course of the eighteenth century the Bohemian 
institutions were limited gradually in their power, 
till they became mere shells. This policy culmi- 
nated in the refusal of Joseph II to be crowned at 
Prague as King of Bohemia, thus robbing the 
Czechs of their last vestige of independence. 

Early in the nineteenth century a group of 
Czech scholars devoted themselves to the revival 
of the almost forgotten Czech language. They 
succeeded in raising it from its low state, thereby 
laying the foundations of the Czecho-Slovak 
national movement. Literary societies and clubs 
sprang up among the Czechs. Several poets ap- 
peared and a National Museum was founded in 
1818. A great historian, Francis Palacky (1798- 
1876), entered upon Bohemia's arena and exerted 


tremendous influence over the fortunes of his 
people. The foremost historian of Bohemia, he 
also became the acknowledged leader of the 
modern national movement. Palacky was helped 
in his labors by a group of brilliant men of letters. 
The Bohemians under Palacky never went further 
than a demand for their constitutional rights, i.e., 
the restoration of Bohemian autonomy under the 
Habsburgs. It was clearly conceived by the Czech 
leaders that Austria was built upon the back of 
Bohemia; that the total separation of the latter 
from the former would plunge Europe into a gen- 
eral war; and that the limit of Bohemian aspi- 
rations should, therefore, be national existence 
within the boundaries of a federated Austrian 

The revolutionary year of 1848 is memorable 
in the history of Bohemia. Prague became a lead- 
ing center of rebellion and for a time succeeded in 
wresting from the Austrian Emperor recognition 
of the Czech demands. However, the revolution 
was crushed throughout Austria-Hungary, and 
Bohemia was forced to return to its old status. 
A reign of persecution against liberal and national 
thought was inaugurated by Austria, which, of 
course, only helped the dissemination of revolu- 
tionary ideas. When Austria began to suffer 
miMtary defeats, beginning with 1859, the Habs- 
burgs relaxed their despotic rule. Francis Jo- 
seph promised to a Czech deputation, in 1861, to 


be crowned as King of Bohemia. But he never 
carried the promise out. In 1866 Austria was 
again in the throes of a struggle, this time with 
Prussia, which ended disastrously. Again the 
Habsburgs tried to win the favor of their op- 
pressed nationalities. To strengthen the empire 
the Austrians made an agreement with the Mag- 
yars, whereby the latter obtained virtual inde- 
pendence and control over part of the Slavonic 
races of the empire. It was an arrangement be- 
tween the two strongest parties, the Germans and 
the Magyars. The Germans alone could not 
last long, in view of their minority; they there- 
fore decided to share their power with the next 
strongest element in the state — Hungary — and in 
1867 the Dual Monarchy came into existence. 

The Czechs violently protested against this 
arrangement, which incidentally placed their 
brothers, the Slovaks, again under the heel of the 
Hungarians. The agitation to restore Bohemia's 
old constitutional position assumed such propor- 
tions that Francis Joseph promised again to be 
crowned King of Bohemia, just as he had become 
King of Hungary. In a message to the Bohemian 
Diet, meeting at Prague, he declared that ' ' in con- 
sideration of the former constitutional position of 
Bohemia and remembering the power and glory 
which its crown had given to his ancestors, and 
the constant fidelity of its population, he gladly 
recognized the rights of the kingdom of Bohemia, 


and was willing to confirm this assurance by tak- 
ing the coronation oath." Again he failed to 
carry out his pledge. 

The whole course of European history might 
have been different had Francis Joseph kept his 
word and established Austria on a federal basis. 
Perhaps the chief cause of the Great War was the 
struggle between German-Magyar nationalism 
and Slavonic nationalism. The Austrian Empire 
was composed of a majority of Slavs and a minor- 
ity of Germans and Magyars. The satisfaction of 
the legitimate and reasonable claims of the former 
half a century ago would have insured the safety 
of the Austrian imperial structure. The first step 
toward the erection of a federal empire was the 
granting of the constitutional demands of the 
Czechs. Francis Joseph, however, did not resist 
the aggressive policies of the Germans and Mag- 
yars. Both were minorities. Both ruled Slavonic 
majorities. Both sought to maintain their tyr- 
anny and to impress upon the subject peoples their 
own nationalism. Both, therefore, opposed the 
creation of an autonomous Bohemia. And both 
were directly responsible for the fate that has now 
befallen Austria and Hungary. 

After 1867 the Czech national movement entered 
a new phase. Bohemian literature and arts made 
tremendous strides, giving birth to a powerful 
movement to make the Czech language the domi- 
nant tongue in Bohemia's schools and govern- 


ment institutions. The German language was 
boycotted, and Czech nationalism was fostered by 
the Young Czechs, who believed in extremes, and 
opposed the previous policy of ineffective pro- 
tests. Basing their doctrines on the fact that 
three-fifths of the Austrian population were Slavs, 
the Young Czechs started out with the idea of 
converting Austria into a kingdom dominated by 
Slavs, rather than by Germans. The fight waged 
by the Young Czechs was both external and inter- 
nal. There were large colonies in Bohemia who 
were either of German origin or under the in- 
fluence of German civilization. These were aided 
by outside forces, mainly Prussian. In spite of 
their obstinate resistance, the Czech nationalists 
gradually asserted their supremacy. In 1881 
they won the right to the University of Prague, 
which since then has been completely Czech. In 
1891 the Young Czechs became the dominant Bo- 
hemian power in the Imperial Reichsrat. In 1897 
the Czech language was formally declared from 
Vienna as official, possessed of equal rights with 
the German. This was the signal for a new period 
of hostility and wrangling between the Germans 
and the Czechs. The former were furious, and the 
two elements not infrequently came to blows in 
the Austrian Parliament. 

The growth of socialism in Austria and the Rus- 
sian Revolution of 1905 introduced a new element 
into the nationalistic feuds. Universal suffrage 


was advocated, and the German radicals were sup- 
ported by the Czechs and other oppressed nation- 
ahties in their demands. This reform was finally 
promulgated, and in 1907 a parliament represent- 
ing, on a basis of equal suffrage, all the parties 
and national groups of Austria met in Vienna. 

The Great War found Bohemian nationalism 
developed to its highest degree. Naturally it was 
in sympathy with the Southern Slavs of Serbia, 
against whom was directed the famous Austrian 
ultimatum of July, 1914. The Czechs had all 
along been friendly toward Russia, for it was 
there that Pan-Slavism was born, looking toward 
the liberation of the Slavs from the German- 
Magyar yoke. But to the Habsburgs the Czecho- 
slovaks were Austro-Hungarian subjects. They 
were soldiers of the imperial armies. When a 
call for war sounded, they were expected to rise 
to the support of their oppressors. They had 
done so in the eighteenth and in the nineteenth 
centuries. Their Slavonic brethren under ^he 
Habsburgs had done so, too, and were going to 
do so again, in 1914. Wouldn't the Czecho- 
slovaks act likewise? It did not enter the Habs- 
burgs' minds that they wouldn't. 

But when the Czech regiments were marched 
to the front to fight their Serbian, and Russian 
brothers, they showed unmistakably where they 
stood in the great crisis. In Prague itself, in 
September, 1914, the 28th Regiment, composed of 


the sons of the Bohemian capital, gave vent to the 
emotions of the people by singing Pan-Slavic 
hymns and by openly bearing a banner on which 
was inscribed: ''We are marching against the 
Russians, but nobody knows why. ' ' The populace 
of Prague gave an ovation to its brave rebels, and 
the Austrian officers did not dare to remove the 
revolutionary banner. Although in Austrian uni- 
forms, under foreign commanders, the Czech 
soldiers exhibited their defiance of tradition and 
established authority by deserting in mass, or 
singly, to the ' ' enemy. ' ' The 8th, 11th Landwehr, 
28th, 30th, 88th and 102nd Regiments of the Aus- 
trian army, had gone over, within a year of the 
outbreak of the war, to the Russians in regiments, 
companies, and in small groups. They were 
Czech regiments, imbued with a powerful national 
consciousness, totally opposed to the Habsburg 
rule and government. Parallel with this attitude 
on the part of the Czechs the Austrian authorities 
assumed toward Bohemia a policy of suppression 
and persecution. The Czechs were "traitors.'' 
The whole nation was accused by Vienna of high 
treason. According to the pre-war standards it 
was treason, for the Czechs were subjects of the 
Habsburg dynasty. But a new era was beginning 
for the "subject" nationalities of the world. 
They were to break old conventions. The Czechs 
Were the first to lead the oppressed races toward 
a new conception of resurgent nationalism. Mean- 


while persecutions at home grew more violent. 
The Czech radical leaders were arrested. Many 
eminent figures in Bohemian national life were 
persecuted or forced to remain in hiding. Profes- 
sor Thomas Gr. Masaryk, the foremost Czech of 
our time, secretly left his country and came to 
France and England to work for its independence. 
Together with other exiles he organized abroad a 
Czecho-Slovak National Council, of which he was 
elected president. The council took an uncom- 
promising attitude toward the Dual Monarchy. 
It issued in November, 1915, a manifesto which 
read, in part, as follows : 

*'A11 Bohemian political parties have up to this 
time been fighting for a qualified independence 
within the limits of Austria-Hungary. But the 
events of this terrible war and the reckless vio- 
lence of Vienna constrain us to claim indepen- 
dence without regard to Austria-Hungary. We 
ask for an independent Bohemian-Slovak state. 
The Bohemian people are now convinced that they 
must strike out for themselves." 

And they proceeded to do so. As the number 
of Czecho-Slovak deserters to Russia increased, 
they began to ask of the Tsar's government per- 
mission to organize a military unit and fight the 
Austro-Germans. But the Tsar's ministers looked 
askance at this request. The Czechs were Aus- 
trian subjects and should remain loyal to Austria. 
Otherwise, the soldiers of the many oppressed 


nationalities of the Tsar would desert to the Teu- 
tons an4 be organized by them into national units 
to fight against Russia. So the Czechs were in- 
terned in the depths of the empire, in Siberia, 
Turkestan and other remote regions. They were 
prisoners of war and treated as such. Only with 
great difficulty and with the help of the Czech 
colony in Russia was permission finally obtained 
from the Tsar's goverimient to organize a Czecho- 
slovak legion. 

Then came the Russian Revolution. From every 
corner of vast Russia Czechs and Slovaks wormed 
their way toward the headquarters of their legion. 
The desertions from the Austrian army also con- 
stantly augmented its ranks. But the big oppor- 
tunity was still in store for the former subjects 
of the Habsburgs. There were plenty of soldiers 
in Russia. The Czecho-Slovaks had to do some- 
thing more than merely band themselves into regi- 
ments and join the Russian army, in order to at- 
tain distinction. They did it in the course of the 
only offensive attempted by the Revolution against 
the Central Powers, the famous Kornilov move- 
ment of July 1, 1917. The Russian soldiers lost 
heart and stampeded to the rear. Only the Czecho- 
slovak brigade and the Finnish troops advanced. 
The Commander in Chief, General Brusilov, made 
a report which sent the name of the Czecho- 
slovaks resounding from one end of Russia to 
the other. "The Czecho-Slovaks," he wrote, 


"perfidiously abandoned at Taniopol by our in- 
fantry, fought in such a way that the world ought 
to fall on its knees before them. ' ' 

There, on the Galician battlefield, in July, 1917, 
the foundation was really laid for the Czecho- 
slovak Republic. The National Council was 
bound to remain an academic body as long as it 
was not backed by an army in the field. When 
such a force did appear, the whole complexion of 
the Bohemian problem underwent a deep change. 
The Czecho-Slovaks set themselves to obtain Al- 
lied recognition of their army. There was a 
small contingent of Czecho-Slovaks fighting in 
France, Bohemia's traditional friend. In De- 
cember, 1917, a decree signed by the President, 
Premier and Foreign Minister of France, author- 
ized the formation of a Czecho-Slovak army as a 
part of the French army. The text of this remark- 
able document reveals the reason for the subse- 
quent conduct of the Czecho-Slovaks in Russia. 
It read, in part : 

"(1) The Czecho-Slovaks, organized in an au- 
tonomous army and recognizing the superior au- 
thority of the French High Command from the 
military point of view, will under their own flag 
fight against the Central Powers. 

"(2) Politically, this national army is placed 
under the direction of the Czecho-Slovak National 
Council whose headquarters are in Paris. 


^* (3) The formation of the Czecho-Slovak army 
is guaranteed by the French Government. 

*'(4) The Czecho-Slovak army will be subject 
to the same dispositions as regards organization, 
hierarchy, administration, and military discipline 
as those in force in the French Army. 

'' (5) The Czecho-Slovak army will be recruited 
from among — 

^' (a) Czecho-Slovaks at present serving with 

the French army; 
''(b) Czecho-Slovaks from other countries, 
admitted to be transferred to the 
Czecho-Slovak army; 
" (c) All those who will voluntarily enter this 
army for the duration of the war. ' ' 

There were to be 120,000 soldiers in the Czecho- 
slovak army. A volunteer recruiting campaign 
was launched in the United States and other coun- 
tries where there were Czecho-Slovak immigrants. 
Finally, money was advanced by the Allies to the 
Czecho-Slovak National Council to enable the 
legions in Russia to go to Vladivostok and thence 
to France, for with the conclusion of the Brest- 
Litovsk peace between Russia and the Central 
Powers the Czecho-Slovak units left the front and 
concentrated at Bakhmatch, near Kiev, in Ukraine. 
The Ukrainian government which had negotiated 
separately with the Central Powers was repudi- 
ated by the Ukranian masses and was compelled 


to call on the Germans to keep it in power. There 
followed a battle between the Teutons and the 
Ukrainian and Russian Red Guards. The Czecho- 
slovaks suddenly found themselves threatened by 
the advancing enemy. The Russian troops, with 
the exception of a small force, were fleeing east- 
ward. There was no choice for the Czechs but to 
do the same, leaving a regiment to fight a rear- 
guard action. There was a severe clash at Bakh- 
match, where the Czecho-Slovaks suffered a loss 
of about six hundred dead and wounded, but ac- 
counted for at least two thousand German corpses, 
which they buried in one day ! 

Then began the Czecho-Slovak march across 
Eastern Europe and Asia. Armed to the teeth, 
with three hundred machine-guns to a regiment, 
artillery, airplanes, automobiles, horses, all of 
which they gathered in the disorganized and aban- 
doned war zone, the Czecho-Slovaks formed train 
after train and ran them toward the east. As the 
trains proceeded the German and Austrian govern- 
ments began to realize that a new menace was 
being created for them. Hitherto the relations 
between the Czecho-Slovaks and the Russian revo- 
lutionists were most amiable. The Bolsheviki, it 
is true, tried to convert the Czechs to their point 
of view by propaganda, telling them that they were 
being duped by the Allies. But the Germans be- 
gan to exert pressure on the Bolshevist govern- 
ment to stop the progress of the Czecho-Slovaks, 


on the ground that Eussia was neutral and could 
not allow armed forces to organize on and go from 
its territory to fight nations with whom Russia 
was at peace. The Russian authorities then pro- 
posed to the Czecho-Slovaks to disarm. After 
some negotiations they turned over all their equip- 
ment to the Russians, except ten rifles for each one 
hundred men, on condition that their unmolested 
passage be guaranteed. With this understand- 
ing they resumed their movement. 

Slowly, winding over thousands of miles of 
railroad, eighty trains filled with Czecho-Slovaks 
moved toward Vladivostok. From the Volga to 
the Pacific they dotted railroad stations, villages, 
big and little towns. Finally the first of the long 
procession reached Vladivostok. It was spring, 
1918. The Central Powers expected the Czechs to 
get stuck in the vastness of Siberia and never 
reach their goal. But when that first train, after 
many vicissitudes and difficulties, arrived at the 
Far Eastern port, they resolved to take action. 
Under their pressure the Bolshevist government 
issued an order to stop the Czecho-Slovaks. 
Along the entire line the trains were halted by Red 
Guards, among whom were German and Magyar 
war prisoners who were supposed to have turned 
into revolutionists, but many of whom were loyal 
to Vienna and Berlin. Thus at Irkutsk, accord- 
ing to a Czech officer, the following occurred, in 
his own words. 


''Our train, about four hundred men, armed 
with ten rifles and twenty hand grenades, was sur- 
rounded by a few thousand Red Guards, armed 
with machine gnns and cannon. Their comman- 
der gave our men ten minutes to surrender their 
arms or be shot. According to their habit, our 
men began negotiations. Suddenly there was 
heard a German command, 'Schiessen!' and the 
Red Guards began firing at the train. Our men 
jumped oft and in five minutes all the machine 
guns were in their possession, the Russian Bolshe- 
viki disarmed, and all the Germans and Magyars 
done away with. ' ' 

Similar scenes occurred along the entire route. 
An understanding was reached with the Siberian 
Soviet whereby the Czecho-Slovaks east of Irkutsk 
were allowed to proceed to Vladivostok. But the 
trains stalled between the Volga and Irkutsk were 
not so fortunate. Their successful resistance to 
the efforts of the Red Guards to disarm them and 
turn them back to Russia provoked the hostility 
of the Moscow authorities, who proclaimed a mobi- 
lization against them and arrested their delegates. 
Nevertheless the Czecho-Slovaks continued to 
seek an understanding with the Bolshevist govern- 
ment. But meanwhile the tale of their stand re- 
verberated throughout the world. The relations 
between the AUies and Moscow were strained. 
The armies of the former were now under the 
supreme command of General Foch, and the 


Czecho-Slovak army was subject to the orders of 
the French High Command. In the latter part of 
June, 1918, an order went out from Paris to the 
Czecho-Slovaks in Siberia, instructing them to turn 
back and occupy all the Great Siberian Railroad 
and hold the cities along the Volga against the 
Bolsheviki. It was not to the taste of the Czecho- 
slovaks to fight the Russians, but orders were 
orders. They carried out a series of brilliant 
military moves, which won for them complete rec- 
ognition by the Allies and the United States of 
their national aims. 

On October 18, 1918, Czecho-Slovakia declared 
its independence and on November 14 a National 
Assembly met in Prague and proclaimed the estab- 
lishment of a Czecho-Slovak Republic. Thomas 
G. Masaryk, then in the United States, was unani- 
mously acclaimed as the first President of the 
Republic. A provisional government was formed, 
headed by Dr. Karel Kramarz, a veteran fighter 
for Czecho-Slovak nationalism, numbering eigh- 
teen members, six of whom were Socialists. Ac- 
cording to a statement made by Premier Kramarz 
in December to a delegation representing so-called 
German Bohemia, which had been occupied by 
Czecho-Slovak troops, the Allies had signed an 
agreement by which the entire country claimed by 
the Czecho-Slovaks was to belong to the new state, 
exempting it from the jurisdiction of the Peace 
Conference. The German minority in Bohemia 


is very considerable, and claims the right of estab- 
lishing its own autonomous government, with the 
capital at Reichenberg, fifty-eight miles northeast 
of Prague. Asked by a correspondent how the 
Czecho-Slovaks would solve their internal Ger- 
man problem, President Masaryk replied : 

"After all, what does the whole matter come 
down to? Language and politics. First, we shall 
give them (the German Bohemians) their own 
schools, conducted in German. How many Ger- 
man-speaking inhabitants must there be in any 
one district before a German school shall be 
opened there? Well, the general feeling is that 
any district which can furnish forty German 
pupils is entitled to a German school. Who shall 
pay the schools? Shall the Czecho-Slovak com- 
munities pay for theirs and the Germans for 
theirs? Or shall the state pay for all the schools 
by general taxation? I am in favor of the latter 
method. It will be more just to those German- 
speaking communities which are small and there- 
fore less able to bear the expense of a school. 

' ' From the schools let us proceed to the courts. 
These shall be bilingual throughout. What more 
can the Germans want? Then there is the political 
constitution. Germans, as Germans, will be able 
to vote for their own representatives in parlia- 
ment. That is to say, there will be absolute minor- 
ity recognition in every respect." 1 

It remains to be seen whether President Mas-] 


aryk's policy will provide a solution for the for- 
eign national minorities in the newly erected 
states. Bohemia's problem is typical of the diffi- 
culties confronting most of the other liberated 
nationalities. If it fails in Czecho-Slovakia, the 
idea of setting up permanent peace in Europe 
through a settlement of the various national 
claims is bankrupt, entailing the bankruptcy of 
the institution of political nationalism. Czecho- 
slovakia is the most civilized, as well as the most 
tolerant of all the resurrected nations. Thomas G. 
Masaryk is undoubtedly the most gifted exponent 
of the cause of the small nationalities in the world. 
He is second to none among the European states- 
men in knowledge and understanding of inter- 
national affairs. 

Bom on March 6, 1850, of a poor family in Mo- 
ravia, Thomas Masaryk began his career in life 
as an apprentice to a blacksmith, but succeeded in 
entering high school and making his way through 
the University of Vienna, where he became, in 
1879, instructor in philosophy. Three years later 
he was appointed professor at the Prague Uni- 
versity. In 1891 Masaryk was elected deputy to 
the Reichsrat, but resigned two years later to for- 
mulate a practical national problem for the Czechs. 
He founded the Realist party, which entertained 
no illusions as to the nature of the Habsburgs. He 
became known throughout Europe by his great 
works on Czech national questions and history, on 


Marxism, on Russia, and other subjects. In 1907 
he was re-elected deputy to the Vienna Parlia- 
ment, waging since then relentless warfare against 
the Austro-Hungarian bureaucracies. 

''A man of great learning and well posted in all 
contemporary ideas and movements, whether phil- 
osophical, literary, political or social," writes of 
Masaryk one of his countrymen, ''he began to 
facilitate the spread of all such movements in Bo- 
hemia. . . . University professor, philosopher, 
writer, publicist, journalist, his eyes were always 
turned to the practical side of things and to the 
everyday problems of national life. He founded 
reviews and libraries, encouraged the publication 
of foreign works and contributed largely to the 
knowledge of all other European nations. It was 
under his auspices that Russian and French liter- 
ature penetrated to Bohemia, and that the master- 
pieces of English literature became familiar to 
the Czechs. . . . He thus influenced the whole 
youth of Bohemia, and his ideas spread also 
among the Serbs, Croats, Slovenes and Ruthenes. 
Masaryk, in fact, carried on the glorious tradition 
of the great Czech patriots of the ninetenth cen- 
tury, 'the national awakeners,' and was himself 
the last of them. With him begins a new phase in 
the history of the Czech people, which from now 
on takes its place side by side with the other 
European nations in virtue of its intellectual, 
moral, and material development." 

The ethnographic boundaries of Czeeho-Slovakia, Jugoslavia and Albania. 
The section between Trieste and Pola is Italian in population. 



Jugoslavia is the land of the Southern Slavs. 
The word ''jug" in Slavic means ''south." The 
Jugoslavs and the Southern Slavs are therefore 
synonymous terms. Racially the Jugoslavs in- 
clude the Bulgars, Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. 
Politically, however, the Bulgars have dissociated 
themselves from the Southern Slavs. Jugoslavia 
in its current usage is therefore primarily a politi- 
cal term, applied to the territory inhabited by 
Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. 

This territory is a huge block nearly two hun- 
dred miles wide, bounded on the west by Italy 
and the Adriatic Sea ; on the north by Austria and 
Hungary ; on the east by Eumania and Bulgaria ; 
and on the south by Greece and Albania. It com- 
prises Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, 
Dalmatia, Croatia-Slavonia, Carniola, and sec- 
tions of Istria, Goritzia, Styria, Carinthia, Ba- 
ranya, Backa and the Banat. All of these, except 
the first two, were provinces of Austria and Hun- 
gary before the outbreak of the World War. The 
population of entire Jugoslavia exceeds twelve 



million, more than a third of which falls to Serbia 
and Montenegro. 

The Slovenes, the least numerous of the Jugo- 
slavs, numbering only about a million and a half, 
inhabit the northwestern end of the country, sur- 
rounded by the Italians to the west and the Aus- 
trians to the north. The Croats occupy the cen- 
tral regions of Jugoslavia, and the Serbs and 
Montenegrins are at the extreme south and east. 
While the language of the Croats and Serbs is 
nearly identical, that of the Slovenes is a distinct 
dialect. These linguistic differences are undoubt- 
edly the result of the forced estrangement of the 
various elements of the Jugoslav race in the course 
of centuries of struggle and slavery. 

In their early history, the Jugoslavs appear as 
one people. Fifteen centuries ago they crossed 
from the Carpathian ranges and established them- 
selves in their present homeland, under the aegis 
of Byzantium. A historian of the seventh cen- 
tury tells of a number of Slavs taken prisoner 
on the Danube by the soldiers of the Byzantine 
Emperor Mavricius (582-602), and describes them 
as tall, broad-shouldered men, armed only with 
pikes, and in appearance quite harmless and good- 
natured. In reply to questions as to their identity 
they said: "We are Slavs, coming from the far- 
off sea. We do not know steel or arms, we graze 
our herds, make music with our pipes and do not 
harm anyone." 



The Slovenes were subjugated during the reign 
of Charlemagne, toward the end of the eighth 
century, by German lords, who, however, op- 
pressed them so severely that they revolted. Out 
of this rebellion sprang the first Jugoslav state. 
Under the leadership of one of their chiefs, Lude- 
vit Posavsai, the Slovenes formed a powerful 
kingdom. This was the first and only time in the 
life of the Jugoslavs that all of their elements 
were united in one state. The Slovenian kingdom 
soon succumbed to its mighty neighbors. The 
Croats, however, evolved an independent state of 
their own in the ninth century. Toward the end of 
the tenth century it became impoverished as a 
result of participation in the wars that raged in 
Europe at that time. In 1102, at the extinction of 
the Croatian dynasty, the Hungarian king was 
elected to the throne of Croatia. Since then it has 
been part of Hungary and later the Dual Mon- 
archy. Croatia remained for centuries an autono- 
mous state, as the Hungarian kings, upon their 
accession to the throne, would also be crowned as 
kings of Croatia. This practice continued till the 
Croat resistance to the Magyar domination weak- 

An important element of division was intro- 
duced among the Jugoslavs in the eleventh cen- 
tury, when the Christian Church split into the 
Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic branches. 
The southeastern Jugoslavs came under the in- 


fluence of the first, wliile the northwestern Jugo- 
slavs fell under the domination of Rome. The re- 
sult was that the two churches were established 
in Jugoslavia. The Greek Orthodox elements be- 
came known as Serbs, while the Roman Catholics 
were called Croats and Slovenes. 

Up to the twelfth century the Serbs remained 
in their tribal state, not infrequently falling vic- 
tims to their strong Bulgarian brothers. When 
the Bulgarian empire of the ninth and tenth cen- 
turies collapsed, the Serbs paid tribute to Byzan- 
tium. In 1159, under the leadership of their first 
national figure, Stephen Neman j a, the Serbs con- 
stituted themselves into an independent state, 
comprising parts of Dalmatia and Montenegro. 
It was during the reign of Stephen Nemanja 's son 
that Serbia finally identified herself with the East- 
ern Church. 

Serbia rose to the zenith of her power in the 
fourteenth century under the rule of Stephen Dus- 
han, a great general, reformer and statesman. 
During his reign Serbia waged thirteen campaigns 
against Byzantium. He extended his dominions 
as far as the Gulf of Corinth in the south and 
Adrianople in the east. Louis the Great, of Hun- 
gary, found himself menaced by Dushan and began 
a war against Serbia. He was defeated and lost 
some of his Jugoslav possessions, including Bos- 
nia, inhabited by Croats. Dushan, however, did 
not aim to consolidate all the Jugoslavs under his 



scepter. His eyes were on Constantinople. In 
1356 he captured Adrianople. But lie died before 
his armies reached the Byzantine capital. His 
vast kingdom immediately crumbled. Bosnia 
soon reverted to Louis the Great, who sought to 
win her favor by bestowing the royal title on her 
Ban, or chief. After the death of Louis the Great, 
Bosnia attained complete independence and a 
powerful position under Stephen Tvrtko, who 
styled himself "King of the Serbs and of Bosnia 
and the Coastland." 

JVIeanwhile a terrible foe appeared in the east. 
The Turks had invaded Europe. A Serbian army 
which went out to meet them was defeated in 
1371. The Turks continued their conquests of the 
Balkans, capturing Nish in 1386, and exacting an 
indemnity from the Serbian Tsar. The menace 
of the Ottoman hordes did not, however, cause the 
Christian states to abandon their own quarrels 
and present a united front to the Moslem hosts. 
Even Tvrtko of Bosnia did not realize in time the 
meaning of the Turkish danger, and continued his 
favorite policy of consolidating all the Jugoslav 
dominions in the north until it was too late. 

The Turks were ready for a tremendous drive 
into Europe. The Serbs were at the gate of Cen- 
tral Europe and against them the Ottoman Sultan, 
Murat, directed his vast armies. The crisis came 
in 1389. The Serbian Tsar, Lazar, realized the 
acute situation and made a desperate appeal to 


all the Jugoslav chiefs and princes to come to his 
support. King Tvrtko, of Bosnia, was among 
those who heeded the call of Serbia. On the plain 
of Kosovo, the ' ' Field of Blackbirds, ' ' the two con- 
tending forces met. On one side were the hordes 
of Moslems; on the other, the Jugoslav kings, 
chiefs, nobles and soldiers. Here was fought, on 
June 15th, 1389, one of the bloodiest battles in his- 
tory. Tsar Lazar and the flower of Serbian man- 
hood went down in the contest. The Turkish Sul- 
tan Murat was also slain on the battlefield. But 
the victory was Turkish and Serbia was crushed 
and her independence slowly extinguished. How 
important the Battle of Kosovo was considered 
by the Western world can be seen from the fact 
that its issue was awaited impatiently in Paris. 
The records of the Church of Notre Dame show 
that a false report reached Paris of Serbian vic- 
tory, and a solemn Te Deum was sung on the oc- 

The downfall of Serbia was followed by the 
collapse of the other Jugoslav state — Bosnia. 
King Tvrtko died in 1391, after gaining possession 
of the Dalmatian coast from Cattaro to Zara. 
Soon after his death the Republic of Venice, then 
a great maritime power, sought to establish itself j 
in Dalmatia. By 1420 practically the entire Dal- 
matian coast, excepting the small Republic of Ra- 
gusa, had passed into the possession of Venice. In 
1440 the Turks subjugated Bosnia. In 1459 Mo- 


hammed II destroyed the last remnants of Serbian 
independence, in 1463 he completely crushed Bos- 
nia, and in 1476 Herzegovina. These Jugoslav 
lands remained under Turkish rule for three cen- 
turies. Only two little principalities retained their 
independence. One was impregnable Montenegro, 
the embodiment of the fighting spirit of the race. 
The other was the Republic of Eagusa (Dubrov- 
nik), which continued to exist till the days of Na- 
poleon as a cultural center, in which Jugoslav 
civilization attained its greatest heights. 

In the latter part of the fifteenth century large 
numbers of Serbians migrated to South Hungary, 
to escape the Turkish oppression. According to 
a statement made by King Matthias of Hungary 
in a letter to the Pope, in 1483, about two hundred 
thousand Serbians had immigrated to his country 
in the preceding four years. The Turks were now 
menacing Hungary. In 1526 they were met by 
Louis II, at the head of a Hungarian army. So 
sure was he of victory over the invaders that he 
did not desire his dominion, Croatia, to share in 
the glory of the battle. The Turks, however, were 
the victors. King Louis was slain, his army anni- 
hilated, his country invaded. On January 1, 1527, 
the Croatian diet elected Archduke Ferdinand of 
Austria, of the Habsburgs, to the Croatian throne. 
Ferdinand had been elected previously to the Bo- 
hemian and Hungarian thrones, thus founding the 
Habsburg empire. 


In the course of the sixteenth century the Turks 
penetrated into Croatian territory, after conquer- 
ing even those South Hungarian provinces which 
were populated by Serbian immigrants. But while 
in Bulgaria and Bosnia they impressed themselves 
deeply on the national character, in Serbo-Croatian 
territory they left no strong marks. In the second 
half of the seventeenth century the Western Euro- 
pean Powers allied themselves to stem the ad- 
vance of the Turks and push them back. Begin- 
ning with 1683, when the Turks besieged Vienna, 
the tide turned for the Moslems. It was John So- 
bieski of Poland who sealed the fate of the Turks 
by his timely aid. Since then the Turkish wave has 
been receding toward Asia. Austria was saved 
and Hungary freed from the invaders in 1683. 
The Habsburgs, in their subsequent campaigns 
against the Turks, appealed to the Serbians of 
South Hungary to rise against the Ottoman gov- 
ernment. The Serbians met in a national assembly 
and demanded in return that Austria recognize 
the autonomy of their church, headed by their 
Patriarch. Emperor Leopold I accepted the Ser- 
bian conditions. The rights thus granted to the 
Serbians were proclaimed by the Austrian court 
on August 31st, 1690, and assured to them religious 
and national autonomy. Thanks to the Jesuit in- 
fluences at Vienna these pledges were never fully 
carried into effect. In the early years of the 
eighteenth century the Magyars revolted, under 


Rakoczy II, against Austrian domination. The 
Serbians of South Hungary were invited to join 
the rebellion, but remained loyal to the Habsburgs. 
They lost about 100,000 men in their struggle 
against the Magyars, and materially assisted the 
Habsburgs to maintain their position. Although 
this brought forth, in 1706 and in subsequent 
years, confirmations by Austria of the Serbians' 
autonomous rights, these were not realized. In 
1735 the Serbs revolted, but were promptly sup- 
pressed and their rights limited even further. 

The result of this was an extensive emigration 
of Serbians from South Hungary. In 1751-53 
many thousands of them left the Habsburg do- 
minions. The Austrian government sought to 
stop this movement by creating, in 1752, a commis- 
sion for the protection of Serbian interests in 
Austria, which was abolished twenty-five years 
later. Toward the end of the eighteenth century 
the Austrian Emperor, Joseph 11, inaugurated a 
policy of centralization, which aroused Hungary's 
bitter opposition. The latter was encouraged by 
Austria 's reverses in 1790 to insist on guarantees 
of Magyar national rights, demanding the sup- 
pression of the national privileges of the Serbians 
living in South Hungary. The Habsburgs pro- 
ceeded to crystallize Serbian sentiment against 
the Magyars, using it as a weapon against them. 

While this struggle of the Serbs — the Orthodox 
Jugoslavs — went on from generation to genera- 


tioii, their Catholic brethren — the Croats — had 
grown ahnost barren of national feeling in the 
course of their domination by the Catholic Mag- 
yars. It can thus be seen that it was the Greek 
Orthodox Church that kept alive Serbian national- 
ism. However, with the nineteenth century, a new 
era dawned upon the Jugoslav people. In 1805 the 
Croatians began to manifest organized opposition 
to the Hungarians who sought to Magyarize the 
country. This national feeling among the Jugo- 
slavs gained tremendous impetus with the rise 
of Napoleon, who shook the Austrian empire to 
its foundations. He conquered Dalmatia, which 
had come into the possession of Austria after the 
fall of the Venetian Republic in 1797, and joined 
it with part of Croatia, and Istria, Goritzia, Car- 
inthia and Carniola under the name of the King- 
dom of lUyria. "This kingdom of Illyria was the 
first purely Southern Slav state since the ninth 
century," writes Vladislav R. Savic, "in which 
all three branches of the race — Serbs, Croats and 
Slovenes — w^ere united under one administration. ' ' 
Napoleon added to Illyria the Republic of Ragusa 
in 1808. His genius perceived clearly the vital im- 
port of the land of the Jugoslavs. "Illyria is the 
guard set before the gates of Vienna," he said. 

There followed a brief but intensely productive 
period of life for the Southern Slavs. "Under 
the enlightened, if despotic, rule of Marshal Mar- 
mont," observes R. W. Seton- Watson, "the long 


stagnation of the Middle Ages was replaced by- 
feverish activity in every branch of life. Admin- 
istration and justice were reorganized, the Code 
Napoleon superseding the etf ete mediaeval codes ; 
schools, primary and secondary, commercial and 
agricultural, sprang up in every direction: the 
first Croat and Slovene newspapers appeared: 
the old Guild System was reformed and commer- 
cial restrictions removed; peasant proprietary 
was introduced; reafforestation was begun, and 
splendid roads were constructed which are still 
the admiration of every tourist. Official business 
was conducted in French and Croatian, with the 
addition of Italian along the coast." 

In 1804 Serbia, still under Turkish domination, 
made an attempt to liberate itself under the leader- 
ship of Karageorge. The Serbs were joined by 
thousands of their brethren from Austria and 
Hungary, and for several years fought the Turks 
successfully. In 1813 the Serbian insurrection 
was crushed, but came to life again two years 
later, and wrested from the Ottoman government 
recognition of an autonomous principality formed 
of a part of the Old Serbia. In the same year the 
Kingdom of Illyria came to grief, but with the 
downfall of Napoleon his ideas of Jugoslav unity 
did not die out, and an Illyrian movement came 
into existence. Its originator and leader was 
Ljudevit Gaj, and he played a great role in arous- 
ing Jugoslav nationalism. He adapted the Croa- 


tian dialect to the Serbian, thus creating a common 
literary tongue for the larger part of the Jugo- 
slav people. 

The rise of Magyar nationalism under the 
Habsburgs made the lot of the Croats and Serbs 
doubly oppressive. In 1825 the Magyars were al- 
lowed to convoke their diet, which formulated a 
policy of Magyarization for Hungary, without 
regard to the national rights of Croatia and Sla- 
vonia. To the Magyar nationahsts the Croats de- 
clared: '*We are resolved not to degenerate from 
our fathers and will preserve our nationality at 
all costs and with every possible means. Our 
rights of local government can never be the sub- 
ject of negotiations, our internal administration 
is not within the jurisdiction of the estates of 
Hungary, and we protest most solemnly against 
all innovations." But the Magyars, while con- 
tinuously struggling to obtain recognition of their 
autonomy from the Habsburgs, encroached upon 
the Slavs that inhabited Greater Hungary, impos- 
ing upon them the Magyar tongue and even inter- 
fering with the Serbian Church. 

The great revolutionary year of 1848 stirred 
the Serbs of Hungary profoundly. They formu- 
lated a series of demands and delegated several 
leaders to present them to the Magyars. In April 
the deputation had an audience with Kossuth, the 
great Magyar statesman. It was an historic audi- 
ence. The Serbs, led by Alexander Kostic, claimed 


their right to be regarded as a nation. What fol- 
lowed is thus set down by E. W. Seton- Watson : 

"What do you understand by a 'nation'?" in- 
quired Kossuth. 

^*A race which possesses its own language, cus- 
toms and culture," was the Serb reply, "and 
enough self -consciousness to preserve them." 

"A nation must also have its own government," 
objected Kossuth. 

"We do not go so far," Kostic explained; "one 
nation can live under several different govern- 
ments, and again several nations can form a single 

When one of the younger members of the depu- 
tation, in reply to a statement by Kossuth that 
Hungary must be Magyarized, said that the Serbs 
would be compelled to seek justice elsewhere, the 
deputation was dismissed with the striking phrase : 
"The sword must decide." These words of Kos- 
suth were the signal for a bitter racial struggle, 
which developed in 1848. The Serbians of South- 
ern Hungary, who were Orthodox, and the Catho- 
lic Croats now forgot all their religious differ- 
ences and united in one cause. In June the 
Croatian diet arrived at an agreement with the 
Serbian assembly which met at Karlovci and 
which had demanded the creation of a separate 
principality embracing the South Hungarian prov- 
inces of Syrmia, Baranya, Backa and the Banat. 
This rapprochement between the two Jugoslav 


sections of opposite religious faith was a great 
national triumph. It showed that the idea of Jugo- 
slav unity was making big progress. 

The Magyar movement became a menace to the 
Habsburgs. Vienna therefore decided to make 
use of the Serbo-Croats in order to subdue the 
Magyars. To win the favor of the Jugoslavs the 
Austrian rulers granted them reforms and ap- 
pointed Baron Jelacic to the office of Ban of 
Croatia, allowing him to command an army against 
the Magyars. The latter, however, repulsed the 
Jelacic force, and soon afterwards launched their 
famous revolutionary movement of 1848-49. The 
first victims of the Magyar revolution were the 
Serbs of South Hungary. The Habsburgs be- 
came uneasy and hastened to desert Croatia and 
Slavonia and conciliate the Magyars. Jelacic, 
having served his purpose as commander of 
the Serbo-Croatian forces, which helped Aus- 
tria in the war that had meanwhile been 
declared by Italy, was now deprived of his 
offices as Ban and General. But it was too 
late for the Habsburgs to escape the Mag- 
yar wrath. The revolution had gained much mo- 
mentum. The Magyars attacked the Serbs and i 
Croats and forced a union between the latter and | 
the Austrians. The Habsburgs again favored the 
Jugoslavs with reforms and privileges. A Serbian 
principality was created in South Hungary after 


the Magyar revolution had been bloodily sup- 

Beginning with 1849 Austria was in the grip of 
a reactionary wave. The Serbian principality 
was virtually abolished when the Emperor had 
assumed the title of its chief. Germanization 
became the leading policy of the Habsburg rule. 
This policy exploded in 1859, when Austria suf- 
fered a defeat at the hands of Italy and found it 
necessary to strengthen the empire by winning 
the support of the subject nationalities. But no 
definite plan was elaborated and followed by the 
Vienna government for several j^ears. It was 
only in 1867, after the disastrous war of the 
preceding year against Prussia, that Emperor 
Francis Joseph embarked upon the definite but 
fatal system of Dualism. By the famous agree- 
ment of February, 1867, the Magyars were raised 
to the position of a sovereign nation, and Aus- 
tria-Hungary was created. It was fatal because 
the Slavic races, the Poles, Ruthenes, Czechs and 
Serbo-Croats, were not admitted into the union. 
The two dominant peoples in the empire were the 
Germans and the Magyars, and thus was the stage 
set for the explosion that occurred half a century 
afterward. The Magyars, having gained ascen- 
dancy, proceeded to conciliate Croatia, and an 
agreement was reached with her in 1868 which, 
although restricting Croatian autonomy and ter- 
ritory, still allowed her self-government. 


Meanwhile Serbia was gradually emerging from 
Turkish domination and developing into an in- 
dependent state. In 1815, after the failure of 
Karageorge's insurrection, Milos Obrenovic, an- 
other Serbian leader, raised the banner of rebel- 
lion and succeeded in becoming the ruler of Serbia 
under the Ottoman aegis. The Sultan's govern- 
ment was conciliated when Karageorge was slain 
by the party of Obrenovic and his head sent to the 
Sublime Porte. This bloody deed of treachery 
marked the beginning of the bitter dynastic feud 
between the families of the two chiefs. Milos, 
however, was recognized by Turkey as the Prince 
of Serbia only in 1830. Although a despot by 
nature, he was compelled to grant a constitution 
with a national assembly in 1835. Thanks to the 
interference of foreign powers, especially Russia, 
in Serbian affairs, Milos abdicated and went into 
exile in 1839. He was succeeded by his son 
Michael, who was also forced to become an exile 
because of foreign intrigue. The next ruler of 
Serbia was a son of the slain Karageorge, Alex- 
ander. He was deposed in 1858 by the assembly 
because of his anti-Russian policy, and the old 
Milos, still alive and in exile, was recalled. He 
died in 1860, to be succeeded again by his son 
Michael. He introduced many refomis and re- 
modeled the Constitution, and succeeded, with the 
aid of the great powers, in having the Turkish gar- 
risons withdrawn from his domain. On May 6th, 


1867, Serbian soil was clear of the Turk. Prince 
Michael looked ahead to the time when all the 
Jugoslavs would be united and slowly worked 
for the consummation of this aim. But in June, 

1868, he was assassinated by followers of the 
Karageorge dynasty. After a regency, his cousin 
Milan, aged fourteen at his death, became the 
ruler of Serbia. During his rule Bosnia and 
Herzegovina, populated by Serbo-Croats, but 
dominated by Moslem nobles, revolted against the 
Turkish government. At the end of a year of hesi- 
tation and vacillation Prince Milan, together with 
Montenegro, declared, in 1876, war on the Turks 
in support of the Jugoslavs of Bosnia and Herze- 
govina, promulgating a manifesto which called for 
the union of the Southern Slavs in one gi'eat Ser- 
bian state. 

It was at this juncture that the policy which 
reached its culminating point in July, 1914, was 
inaugurated by the Habsburgs. Austria and 
Hungary considered Serbia's aspiration to Bosnia 
and Herzegovina a menace to themselves. Thanks 
to Eussia's intervention in 1877, Turkey was 
beaten. But Serbia did not get much satisfaction 
either from Russia or from Austria-Hungary at 
the Congress of Berlin. Great Britain had rec- 
ognized secretly Austria-Hungary's title to Bosnia 
on June 6th, 1878. Russia was too much interested 
in Bulgaria and other things to justify the Serbian 
hopes. The result was that, although Serbia and 


Montenegro were augmented by the addition of 
some territory to each, Bosnia and Herzegovina 
were placed by the Congress of Berlin under 
Austro-Hungarian control, which took the form 
of the occupation of the two provinces, still nomi- 
nally Turkish, by Austrian authorities. For a 
time Serbia was torn between hatred for Russia 
and Austria-Hungary. The latter knew how to 
utilize this condition. It encouraged Prince Milan 
to assume the royal title, which he did, but the 
Serbian kingdom under him was greatly dis- 
credited. He wrecked the larger Jugoslav aims by 
falling upon Bulgaria and waging a war which 
ended disastrously for Serbia. He finally gained 
the enmity of his people to such an extent that 
he found himself constrained to abdicate in 1889 
in favor of his son Alexander, who was a minor. 
A regency took over the supreme power. King 
Alexander was an arbitrary and capricious ruler 
and set up practically the entire nation against 
him by marrying a former mistress of his. After 
a reign of immoral conduct and general provoca- 
tion. King Alexander and his wife were assassi- 
nated during the night of June 10th, 1903, by a 
group of officers. A grandson of Karageorge, 
Peter, was now elected to the Sei|)ian throne and 
instituted an exemplary constitutional govern- 

During the latter part of King Milan's life and 
the disgraceful reign of his son, Alexander, Croa- 


tia was smarting under an oppressive Magyar 
yoke. After tlie Bosnian rebellion of 1876 the re- 
lations between the Magyars and Groats again be- 
came acute. The Groats wanted Bosnia joined 
to Croatia under Habsburg rule; the Magyars 
sought to add it to Hungary. Premier Tisza, of 
Hungary, suspended temporarily the Croatian 
constitution in 1883, when the Groats made an ef- 
fort to revolt, and appointed as Ban of Croatia 
his own cousin. Count Khuen-Hedervary, whose 
twenty years' rule formed, according to R. W. 
Seton-Watson, "a most humiliating epoch in 
Southern Slav history. . . . He was probably 
the most effectively corrupt satrap of a subject 
province whom the nineteenth century has pro- 
duced, wiiile in 1910, as Hungarian Premier, he 
organized electoral corruption on a scale hither- 
to unsurpassed, not merely in Hungary, but prob- 
ably in modern Europe. . . . Above all, Khuen's 
system depended upon playing off Croat and Serb 
against each other, upon inflaming the petty pas- 
sions and religious bigotry of Catholic and Ortho- 

In 1905, when Austria, under -the influence of 
the Russian Revolution, was compelled to grant 
universal suffrage, the Serbo-Croats found their 
opportunity. They formed a coalition, both in 
Croatia and Dalmatia, and triumphed in 1906, is- 
suing a series of demands for reforms and lib- 
erties. After that developments followed quickly. 


Serbia and Montenegro became the centers of 
active agitation for Jugoslav unity. The revolu- 
tionary elements in Croatia, Dalmatia and Sla- 
vonia were even more intensely at work on the 
propagation of the Jugoslav national idea. The 
Austrians and the Magyars by their policy of per- 
secution and intolerance helped the spread of the 
movement. The Habsburg government did not 
stop at forgery in order to be able to throw accu- 
sations at both its own Jugoslav subjects and the 
Serbian government. Austria-Hungary decided 
to formally annex Bosnia-Herzegovina, and con- 
sidered it necessary to make out a strong case by 
proving that the Serbian king and his counselors 
were plotting together with the Croats against 
the Vienna government. A number of documents 
were forged to back up the accusations and were 
sufficient to justify Austria in annexing Bosnia- 
Herzegovina. This provoked the great crisis of 
1908, when a world war seemed inevitable, as the 
Russian government considered Austria-Hun- 
gary's act a slap in the face. However, when 
Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany openly placed him- 
self on the side of Austria, Russia backed out, 
suffering diplomatic humiliation. The two prov- 
inces remained Austrian, although in the sensa- 
tional trial that followed the documents produced 
by the Austrian government against Serbia were 
proven forgeries. Professor Masaryk, the Czecho- 
slovak leader, was able to demonstrate later that 


the documents were concocted by Count Forgach, 
the Austro-Hungarian minister to Serbia. 

These methods of the Vienna politicians only- 
solidified the Jugoslav national sentiment. In 
1912, during the war of the Balkan League against 
Turkey, the Serbs amazed the world by their high 
military ability. Serbia, it has been said, avenged 
Kosovo in that year and revealed a spirit that 
caught the entire Southern Slav race in a wave of 
enthusiasm. Serbia's achievements gave a greater 
impetus to Jugoslav nationalism than generations 
of literary and political propaganda. Naturally, 
Austria-Hungary became uneasy at the sudden 
manifestation of Serbian power and proceeded to 
repress Jugoslav activities within its domains, 
simultaneously plotting to disrupt the Balkan 
League and set Bulgaria against Serbia. This 
Vienna accomplished. The second Balkan war 
robbed the Serbs of access to the sea and embit- 
tered further their attitude toward Austria-Hun- 

In 1914, then, the Jugoslav movement had 
reached its highest mark. Russia had since 1908 
made great strides in the reorganization of her 
army. Austria-Hungary was in a mood to crush 
the Southern Slav menace, the sponsor of which 
was Serbia in the eyes of Vienna. Serbia, how- 
ever embittered, cannot be said to have been 
physically fit for an arduous war after the two 
wars of 1912 and 1913, which had fairly exhausted 


her. Still the inflammatory material was there. 
(xerman-Magyar nationalism had in the course of 
a century cultivated Jugoslav nationalism by op- 
pression and persecution. Now it blossomed forth 
and was desperate enough to fight for its national 
riglits. The clash might have been postponed for 
a time, but it could hardly have been avoided. The 
signal was given when Archduke Francis Ferdi- 
nand of Austria-Hungary was assassinated at 
Sarajevo, Bosnia, by a youth named Princip. The 
full story of the criminal act has not yet been re- 
vealed. It has been charged, not without some 
reason, that the assassin was a protege of certain 
Austro-Hungarian politicians. At least it is now 
established that the murdered archduke was in- 
clined toward a radical solution of the Jugoslav 
problem, and that he had even favored the recon- 
struction of the Dual Monarchy on a federal basis. 
He was pronouncedly anti-Magyar, that is certain, 
and it is this that adds an element of mystery to 
the assassination. What followed is but too well 
known. Vienna took Serbia to task, holding her 
government responsible for the assassination and 
the revolutionary movement in the Austro-Hun- 
garian Jugoslav provinces. The famous ulti- 
matum w^as despatched to Serbia, plainly aiming 
at the destruction of Serbian sovereignty. That 
Serbia wTnt as far as it could possibly have been 
expected from a sovereign nation in her reply to 
Vienna is clearly written in the records of the 


Great War. Jugoslav nationalism was opposed by 
German and Magyar nationalism, and only by the 
self-negation of one party could a collision have 
been averted. But that would have been a nega- 
tion of the very soul and purpose of the power that 
is modern nationalism. 

What happened to the Croats, Serbs and Slo- 
venes within the boundaries of the Dual Mon- 
archy after the outbreak of the World War re- 
mains of the least known pages of atrocities and 
persecutions recorded in Europe and the Near 
East between 1914 and 1918. Perhaps it was be- 
cause public opinion considered the Jugoslavs 
.partly responsible for the universal conflict that 
little attention was paid to their condition. Ac- 
cording to a speech delivered on October 19th, 
1917, in the Austrian Parliament by a noted Croat 
poet and politician, who had himself been im- 
prisoned during the early part of the war, the 
Jugoslavs suffered hideous persecution. 

* ' Upon the outbreak of the war a veritable tem- 
pest of destruction was let loose upon all Jugo- 
slav patriots. . . . All the nationally enlight- 
ened, responsible and honest elements of the male 
population were arrested, interned, imprisoned, 
ruined, condemned to death, executed; the very 
young and the aged were fated to die of hunger, 
the remainder were terrorized, demoralized and 
dishonored. . . . 

"When, after three months' imprisonment at 


Maribor (Marburg), I was for the first time 
brought before a judge, he said to me: 'I do 
not know what the accusation is against you, and 
this you will readily understand when I tell you 
that in Dalmatia, Istria and Carniola alone we 
have arrested more than five thousand persons.' 
You can now imagine how many have been ar- 
rested in Bosnia, in Herzegovina, in Slavonia and 
in the south of Hungary ! ' ' 

The executions and atrocities to which the Jugo- 
slavs were subjected only further exasperated 
them and consolidated their national conscious- 
ness. A Jugoslav committee was formed abroad, 
aiming at the constitution of all the Jugoslav 
provinces of Austria-Hungary into a separate 
state, preferably in union with Serbia and Mon- 
tenegro. Serbia now openly espoused the cause 
of Jugoslav unity. On July 20th, 1917, the Serbian 
government and the Jugoslavs of Austria-Hun- 
gary arrived at a formal agreement, known as 
the Declaration of Corfu. It expressed the aspi- 
rations of all the Jugoslav peoples to become one 
nation. Specifically, it provided that the future 
Jugoslavia should be a kingdom under the rule of 
the Serbian dynasty, while leaving to an all-Jugo- 
slav constituent assembly to promulgate a consti- 
tution as "the beginning and end of all author- 
ity." When Austria-Hungary collapsed and the 
Jugoslavs suddenly found themselves the masters 
of their destinies, the republican sentiments of the 


former Austro-Hungarian subjects asserted them- 
selves and they sought to make the united Jugo- 
slavia a republic. Friction thus developed be- 
tween the two parties to the declaration of Corfu. 
''The difference between the two views," said 
Dr. Hinko Hinkovic, one of the signators of the 
pact and a recognized leader of the Croats, ''may 
be shortly defined as the scheme of Greater Serbia 
and Jugoslavia. According to Mr. Pasic, the 
Serbian Premier, the Jugoslavs outside of Serbia 
ought to enter this kingdom. Meanwhile the 
overwhelming majority of our nation most ener- 
getically refuses any idea of a Greater Serbia, as 
well as of a Greater Croatia. What we desire is 
to establish a new state which all parts of the 
nation should enter on absolutely equal terms, re- 
serving to the constituent assembly the sovereign 
decision of the whole constitution, including, of 
course, the question of a republic or a monarchy." 
Another element of friction was introduced by 
Montenegro, whose king, Nicholas, was declared 
deposed by the partisans of the idea of a Greater 
Serbia. The king, who is a most enlightened 
man, persisted in clinging to the throne, seeing 
no reason why he should abdicate in favor of 
King Peter of Serbia. In a proclamation which he 
issued in November, 1918, he said: "I solemnly 
declare that my dear Montenegro should become 
a constituent part of Jugoslavia, and enter in the 
Jugoslav community frankly and honestly, as it 


has struggled and suffered for it. I desire that 
we unite ourselves as brothers in a confederate 
Jugoslavia in which each state will retain its 
rights, institutions, religion and customs and in 
which no one will dare pretend to supremacy, but 
where all will be equal." 

In December, 1918, the representatives of Croa- 
tia, Dalmatia, Slavonia, and other parts of the 
fallen Dual Monarchy, arrived at an understand- 
ing with the Serbian government and entered an 
all-national provisional ministry. However, that 
was not a final solution of the internal problems 
confronting the new state. Before Jugoslavia is 
solidly established it would-be necessary to recon- 
cile the republicanism of the Austro-IIungarian 
Jugoslavs with the imperialistic aspirations of 
the Serbian dynasty ; and the differences between 
the Serbian and Montenegrin monarchies would 
have to be composed. Jugoslavia might become 
one nation governed on a federal basis, being in 
effect a United States of Jugoslavia; national 
unity might be achieved under the scepter of the 
Karageorge house of Serbia. The outcome will, 
to a very large extent, depend on the solution of 
the external problems facing Jugoslavia. 

By far the most important of these is the con- 
flict between the territorial aims of the Italian 
government and the national rights of Jugoslavia. 
By the secret treaty concluded in London on 
April 26th, 1915, between Italy on one side and 


Great Britain, France and Eussia on the other, 
the former was to receive in reward for her 
entrance into the war on the side of the Allies, 
among other things, the city of Trieste and its sur- 
roundings; the provinces of Goritzia and Gra- 
disko ; the whole of Istria and a number of islands 
in the vicinity; the province of Dalmatia and all 
the neighboring islands. The Adriatic is virtually 
turned into an Italian lake, and Jugoslavia is de- 
prived of much territory inhabited by Slavs. 
Italy's claim to Dalmatia is based on its conquest 
and possession by the Venetian Republic for sev- 
eral centuries, as well as her need of harbors. Sir 
Arthur Evans, a Britisher with an intimate knowl- 
edge of the Adriatic problem, wrote in April, 
1917, long before the publication of the secret 
treaty and the crumbling of Russia under the 
Central Powers, with regard to the Italian claims, 
as follows : ' 

"The legitimate need of Italy for protection 
on her eastern maritime flank is well recognized 
and must certainly outweigh any pedantic appli- 
cation of the principle of nationality. No peace 
could be satisfactory for her, nor indeed for the 
Allies, that did not place in her hands not only 
such purely Italian territories as the western strip 
of Istria from Trieste to the Arsa — the territorial 
boundary of Italy f rqm the days of Augustus on- 
wards — but a series of key positions, including 
not only Pola, but the island and city of Lussin, 


on the other side of the Quarnero, and Lissa, the 
key island of the Middle Adriatic, besides Valona 
at its mouth. Let every legitimate security be 
given her. 

''But to endeavor to lay hold of Dalmatian or 
Croat territory en masse, more especially any 
mainland tract, would be, from the point of view 
of the true Italian interests, little short of 'mid- 
summer madness.' Having lived the better part 
of seven years on those shores and possessing a 
personal knowledge of the most out-of-the-way 
districts of the Interior, I can claim an exceptional 
right to speak on this question. Nearly 97 per 
cent, of the population is Slav. Even the infini- 
tesimal minority is not in the true sense of the 
word Italian. The Province is the very focus of 
South Slav nationalism. An attempt of this kind 
would antagonize the whole Slavonic world and 
could only be the prelude to a new War of Libera- 
tion in the near future. Nay, more, it would do 
much to prejudice the real heritage of Latin civi- 
lization on the East Adriatic shores. ..." 

The conflict between the Jugoslavs and the 
Italian government assumed such bitterness that 
the former even went as far as denying the right 
of the latter to Trieste and Pola, basing their claim 
on the fact that the territory lying behind these 
ports is populated by Slavs. Ethnographically, 
this is to a great extent true. Although the strip 
of coast between Trieste and Pola, about twenty 


miles wide, is predominantly Italian, the hinter- 
land is indubitably Slav. Still the Italian claims 
here are generally conceded, because the two cities 
contain Italian majorities. Not so with Fiume, 
the outlet of Croatia and Slavonia. The majority 
of its population is Italian. Its immediate hinter- 
land, however, is Jugoslav. Although it is not a 
natural port, an artificial harbor was built there 
at a tremendous expense. It forms another bone 
of contention which has already resulted in bloody 
warfare between the Jugoslavs and the Italians 
who, according to an account in The New Europe, 
of London, crossed the line of demarcation laid 
down in the armistice of October 31 and pressed on 
as far as the very suburbs of Laibach, the Slovene 
capital, following this movement up with a land- 
ing at Fiume on November 17. This provoked the 
Jugoslavs, and their National Council sent a note 
to the Allies and the United States, which read, in 
part, as follows : 

'^ Though the Italians had assured the Serbian 
Army in Fiume that they would not occupy the 
town, they landed in the harbor as soon as the 
Serbs had by agreement withdrawn from the town 
area. The Italians occupied with military force all 
public buildings and oflQces and the railway sta- 
tion, and ignored the protests of the Entente rep- 
resentatives who were present. Communication 
by rail, post and telegraph between Fiume and 
Zagreb (capital of Croatia) was interrupted by 


the Italian military. . . . The Jugoslav National 
Council repudiates all responsibility for the con- 
sequences which may result from these intolerable 

Two days later the Council ordered the mobi- 
lization of five classes from 1895 to 1899, while the 
Serbian High Command despatched the Jugoslav 
Legions to Laibach "for the express purpose of 
defending the frontiers of the new state against 
Italy. ' ' The arrival of American troops in Trieste 
and Fiume averted immediate bloodshed. 

Meanwhile differences had developed in the 
Italian government. Minister Bissolati resigned 
from the Cabinet as a protest against Italy's in- 
sistence on the terms of the secret treaty of April, 
1915, and was understood to have the support of 
a large section of Italian public opinion. The 
Jugoslav-Italian conflict reached such a degree 
that M. R. Vesnitch, the Serbian Minister to 
France, officially made the following striking state- 
ment on January 4, 1919 : 

' * Should the treaty secretly signed by England, 
France, Russia and Italy in 1915, whereby Italy 
was to come into possession of the eastern coast 
of the Adriatic after the war, be confii-med by the 
coming Peace Conference, then Serbia would fight 
again, and fight to the finish. Serbia did not 
enter this war to become the vassal of any nation. 
She cannot agree to have Italy control the terri- 
tory in question. 


''Serbia goes to the conference believing that 
affairs will be directed there in accordance with 
the public announcements of the great powers, 
especially those of President Wilson. The posi- 
tion of Serbia and the Jugoslavs would be des- 
perate if their hopes did not rest in the principles 
laid down by America. They would be desperate 
because certain of the great Allied powers, while 
announcing these principles, have entered into 
opposing conventions and understandings. Some 
of these understandings were directed against 

' ' Serbia is the only nation in Europe which has 
made no treaty of any kind with the Allies. She 
has marched on from the first with justice as her 
only weapon." 

The statement contained in the last sentence is 
challenged by the Montenegrin king, by Hungary 
and by Albania. Sympathy for Jugoslav national- 
ism on the part of the American people ought 
not to blind them to its misdeeds. The machina- 
tions which brought about the illegal deposal of 
King Nicholas must be laid at the door of Serbia, 
while the refusal of France to allow him to return 
to Montenegro was the result of Jugoslav in- 
fluences. As to South Hungary, where the Jugo- 
slavs claim considerable territory, the principle 
of self-determination by plebiscite advocated by 
the Jugoslavs in their disputes with Italy should 
be equally applied here. 


As regards Albania, both Serbia and Monte- 
negro are the sinners. Both have acquired Al- 
banian territory. In the past this could have been 
justified on the ground that the two little countries 
needed access to the sea. But with the disruption 
of Austria-Hungary and the creation of a united 
Jugoslavia this need is eliminated. Still there ap- 
pears to be no disposition on the part of the Jugo- 
slavs to return to Albania what is hers by indis- 
putable right, perhaps because the Albanian 
people lack national cohesion and a strong national 
consciousness, which renders them helpless for 
the time being in the midst of the aggressive 
Greeks and Jugoslavs, but whose interests cannot 
be disregarded by those who, like President Wil- 
son, seek to establish a relationship of amity and 
sympathy ''among such states as those of the 
Balkans," instead of "the coercion of force and 
the guidance of intrigue" under which they la- 
bored heretofore. 

A united Jugoslavia, purged of all imperialism 
and founded on justice, would be broad-hearted 
enough to extend a brotherly hand to the free Bul- 
garian people, who are Jugoslav by origin. The 
Southern Slavs in the United States, according to 
Joseph Goricar, one of their leaders, want to see 
all the Jugoslavs, including the Bulgarians, united 
in a federation comprising a population of more 
than eighteen million. ' ' They want to unite with 
Bulgaria, ' ' he adds, ' ' to get away from the ancient 


strife. They want a strong federal republic with 
a common army and navy, a common diplomacy, 
a republic in which each state will have the right 
to its own religion and language and its own cul- 
tural freedom. ' ' A Jugoslavia built on such foun- 
dations would endure, and would prove a bulwark 
of peace in Europe and a great force in civili- 



Many races have come and gone in Europe. 
Mighty hordes from the East swept over it at 
various times and vanished in the course of his- 
tory. But of the few original inhabitants of 
Europe, the true Europeans, there still remain the 
Albanians, populating a mountainous section of 
the Balkan Peninsula. The Albanians are the di- 
rect descendants of the Blyrians who lived in the 
south of Europe since the dawn of history. 

Albania lies on the eastern coast of the Adri- 
atic, where it is nearest to Italy, and is bounded 
by Montenegro on the north, Serbia and the Mace- 
donian Slavs on the east, and Greece on the south. 
Albania's seacoast possesses splendid harbors, 
that of Valona, the "Gibraltar of the Adriatic," 
being especially important. Albania is a rugged 
country and its inhabitants are a rugged people. 
They speak a language of their own. The total 
number of Albanians is difficult to establish, as it 
is not clearly defined yet where the Albanians 
cease to predominate along their southern and 
northeastern boundaries. The maximum estimate 



of Albania's population does not go beyond two 
and a half million. 

The geographical situation of Albania is largely 
responsible for the history of jits inhabitants. 
Driven into the mountain fastnesses by the waves 
of Eastern invaders, the Albanians resisted all 
efforts to assimilate them. Through centuries of 
struggle they maintained their language and cus- 
toms, though not their political independence. The 
success with which the Albanians clung to their 
traditions appears most remarkable when it is 
considered that in the past three thousand years 
Albania had been invaded and ruled by the armies 
and authorities of ancient Greece, Rome, Byzan- 
tium, Serbia, Bulgaria and Turkey. Albania's 
history has really been one uninterrupted series 
of epic fights for the preservation of its racial 
characteristics, as observed by an Albanian publi- 

With the arrival of the Turks in Europe, Al- 
bania was, after a fierce struggle, subjected by 
them and Mohammedanism was introduced into 
the country. Early in the fifteenth century the 
Turks, not quite sure yet of Albania's loyalty, 
sought to restrain it by seizing the four sons of 
the Albanian prince John Castriota as hostages. 
The youngest of these boys, George, named by the 
Turks Iskander Bey, and become known as Skan- 
derbeg, was very gifted. He was educated at the 
court of Sultan Murat II, and became a brilliant 


military leader. In 1443 the Turks were badly- 
beaten in a battle with Ladislaw II, King of Hun- 
gary. The Albanian soul of Skanderbeg as- 
serted itself and he resolved to return to his native 
country and restore its independence. He was 
received by his people with acclamation and named 
their prince. Then began one of the most phe- 
nomenal careers of the Middle Ages. 

Skanderbeg first cleared his country of the 
Turkish garrisons and began a struggle against 
the Turks that is writ in the history of Europe in 
letters of glory. Every Ottoman army that was 
despatched against the Albanian chief was de- 
feated in turn. He was appointed by Pope Pius 
II as Commander in Chief of all the Christian 
armies in Europe. In 1449, he disastrously beat 
a Turkish force of 100,000, under the personal 
command of Sultan Murat II, who was finally 
forced to return to his country, humiliated. The 
Sultan who succeeded Murat, Mohammed II, the 
conqueror of Constantinople, was powerless 
against the Albanians. Albania was invincible un- 
der Skanderbeg, who incidentally saved Europe 
from the ravages of the Asiatic invasion that 
threatened it in the fifteenth century. Skanderbeg 
died in 1467, "fighting the battle of European 
Christendom and civilization against barbarism 
and heathenism, ' ' according to the Reverend Noli, 
an Albanian leader in the United States. Henry 


Wadsworth Longfellow sang as follows of Skan- 
derbeg, in his ''Tales of a Wayside Inn": 

Anon from the Castle walls 

The Crescent Banner falls, 

And the crowd beholds instead, 

Like a portent in the sky, 

Iskander's banner fly, 

The Black Eagle with double head; 

And a shout ascends on high, 

For men's souls are tired of the Turks, 

And their wicked ways and works. 

That have made of At-Hissar 

A city of the plague; 

And the loud, exultant cry 

That echoes wide and far 

Is: ''Long live Skanderbeg!" 

Skanderbeg was not the first great military 
leader that Albania produced. As early as 1225 
B. C, the Albanians had a fighting king named 
Hyllus. Alexander the Great is thought by some 
to have been Albanian. Pyrrhus, the greatest 
soldier of his time, was an Albanian. Many of the 
brilliant leaders of the armies of the various 
Balkan peoples were of Albanian blood. What the 
Albanians are is picturesquely shown by their na- 
tive name. Shkipetars is what the Albanians call 
themselves. "Shkipetar" means "So?i of the 
Mountain Eagle." 

After the death of Skanderbeg the Turks re- 
sumed their efforts to dominate Albania. A con- 
siderable emigration occurred as a result of the 
Turkish policies. Large numbers of Albanians 


migrated to Greece and South Italy, not wishing 
to bear the foreign yoke. There are nearly half a 
million Albanian descendants in Greece, who form 
now the principal cause for the strained Greco- 
Albanian relations. The Greeks claim these im- 
migrants, inhabiting the so-called Northern 
Epirus, as their own nationals, but the Albanians 
insist that their brethren, in what they term 
Southern Albania, have never been Hellenized and 
that they still preserve their language and tra- 

Albania remained a part of the Turkish Empire 
np to 1912. And yet not all the Albanians became 
Mohammedans. A considerable minority belong 
to the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches. 
It is a significant reflection of the natural tolerance 
of the Albanian that the divergence in faith did 
not produce any internal strife. The Christians 
and Moslems intermarried freely, and both sec- 
tions of the race maintained their national tradi- 
tions. The world, however, was allowed to get 
mostly erroneous ideas about the Albanians. They 
were represented by their oppressors as a savage 
people, quarrelsome, barbaric, a race of brigands 
and robbers. They appeared quite different to 
close Western observers. Captain J. S. Barnes, 
R.F.C., in a paper that he read before the British 
Geographical Society said of the Albanians : 

"The Albanian has many stirring qualities 
which make for success. He is brave, frugal, gen- 


erous, independent, honest, as well as honorable, 
industrious, intelligent, artistic, 'and faithfully 
obedient to those whom he trusts and respects. If 
he is ignorant, diffident, superstitious, obstinate, 
conservative and lacking in self-control, these are 
defects due to his environment rather than innate 
in his character." 

In 1878, at the Congress of Berlin, when Turkey 
was trying to improve with the help of the West- 
ern powers the terms which Eussia imposed upon 
her at San Stefano as a result of the war of 1877, 
Albania for the first time became an object of 
aggrandizement in the European game for the bal- 
ance of power. Albania was of course considered 
as a portion of Turkey. The Congress carved 
out the Albanian town and district of Dulcigno 
and gave it to Montenegro. In the south the great 
powers extended the frontiers of Greece to the 
Eiver Kalama, which empties into the channel of 

In both instances the partitioning of Albania 
took place regardless of any ethnic considerations. 
The leading Albanians suddenly realized that with 
the impending collapse of the Turkish Empire, 
Albania might cease to exist as a whole, even un- 
der foreign control, and pass in slices into the 
hands of several state;,. A national consciousness 
was aroused in then] and took definite form in the 
establishment of the Albanian League which 
fiercely fought for the maintenance of Albania's 


integrity. It was due to the determined protests 
of the Albanians that the original provisions of 
the Treaty of Berlin were not carried out fully in 
the south. There was even an attempt at a gen- 
eral rising among the Albanians, intended to 
throw off the Ottoman shackles and make Albania 
independent. However, the Turks were able to 
nip the plot in the bud and even promised to allow 
the Albanians an educational system of their own. 
These promises were never carried out. Never- 
theless, many Albanians educated themselves in 
foreign schools, so as to be able to wage their 
fight for independence more effectively, in which 
they succeeded to a marked degree. 

* ' The Albanian movement is a perfectly natural 
one," wrote Lord Goschen, the British Ambassa- 
dor at Constantinople, in July, 1880, to Lord Gran- 
ville, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. ''An 
ancient and distinctive race, as any by whom they 
are surrounded, they have seen the nationality of 
these races taken under the protection of various 
European powers and gratified in their aspira- 
tions for more independent existence. . . . They 
see the Eastern Question being solved on the prin- 
ciple of nationality and the Balkan Peninsula 
being gradually divided among various races. 
Meanwhile they see that they have not received 
similar treatment. Their nationality is ignored 
and territory inhabited by Albanians is handed 
over in the north to Montenegrins, to satisfy Mon- 


tenegro, the protege of Eussia ; and in the south 
to Greece, the protege of England and France. 
Exchanges of territory are proposed, other diffi- 
culties arise, but it is still at the expense of Al- 
bania, and the Albanians are handed over to Slavs 
and Greeks without reference to nationality. ..." 

The Balkan War of 1912 placed Albania at the 
mercy of its neighbors, and it became the bone of 
contention of Serbia, Greece, Bulgaria and Mon- 
tenegro. These four contemplated the full parti- 
tion of Albania among themselves. The interests 
of Austria and Italy conflicted with the strength- 
ening of these Balkan states at the expense of 
Albania, and they stepped in to urge the establish- 
ment of an independent Albanian state. During 
the winter of 1913, at the Conference of the Am- 
bassadors of the Great Powers, held in London, 
Albania's claims to recognition as a separate na- 
tional entity desei^ing sovereign existence were 
acknowledged and the decision was made to create 
an Albanian state. However, when the question 
of boundaries came up, the Serbs, Montenegrins 
and Greeks displayed an imperialistic attitude that 
carried with it bitter disillusionment to the Al- 
banians, nearly a million of whom were torn away 
from their country and divided among their neigh- 

Although considerably reduced in size, Albania 
started out on its career of independence. Prince 
William of Wied, a relative of the Rumanian 


queen, was appointed king of Albania. His rule 
was stormy and brief. He had several unfavor- 
able factors to contend with. First came the dis- 
pute with Greece. The latter was ordered by the 
powers to withdraw its troops from South Al- 
bania, or Northern Epirus. She did so, but en- 
couraged a movement among the so-called Epirots 
to establish autonomy in the province. The Great 
Powers failed to step in and settle the Albanian- 
Greek conflict. 

In addition to the difficulties with Greece, there 
appeared on the scene the figure of Essad Pasha, 
who placed himself in command of the Ottoman 
forces in the town of Scutari which he surren- 
dered to the Montenegrins, and started out to gain 
the favor of the Balkan States in order to obtain 
the leadership over Albania. Prince William of 
Wied got little encouragement from abroad upon 
his arrival in Albania. Had the powers that chose 
him lent their support to him, he would have suc- 
ceeded in introducing law and order into the coun- 
try. But they seemed to have forgotten Albania, 
and the result was that the Prince of Wied left 
Albania in disgust on the eve of the Great War. 

In 1915 Albania was occupied by the Austrians 
and Bulgarians. The invaders set themselves to 
persecuting the Albanians, requisitioning supplies 
without consideration for the needs of the people 
and treating the natives with cruelty. When the 
Albanians protested in Vienna against the occu- 


pation of their country, on the ground of their 
neutrality, they were answered by the forcible 
induction of many Albanians into the armies of 
the Central Powers. The Albanian colonies 
abroad, notably that in the United States, where 
there are fifty thousand Albanian immigrants, 
realized that the fate of their motherland was 
bound up with that of the Allied cause. They 
organized an Albanian contingent, with the per- 
mission of the British Government, to fight with 
the Allied armies. 

In 1917 an Italian force landed in Albania, and 
occupied its southern half. The commander of 
the Italian Army of Occupation, Lieutenant-Gen- 
eral Ferrero, on June 3rd, 1917, proclaimed the 
unity and independence of all Albania under the 
aegis and protection of the King of Italy. This 
proclamation caused a great sensation and much 
dissatisfaction in Allied countries, as it was taken 
to mean that Italy sought to annex Albania before 
the Peace Conference had convened. The Al- 
banians, however, greeted the Italian occupation 
with enthusiasm, as Italy proclaimed her interest 
in a united Albania. To that extent they preferred 
unity under Italy rather than independence in one 
half of their country with the other half dismem- 
bered. That the Albanians would be satisfied with 
nothing less than complete independence, within 
their ethnical boundaries, may be seen from the 
statement of the Albanian leader, Javer Bey Ghi- 


nokastra, made in reply to General Fcrrero on the 
occasion of the anniversary of Italy's proclama- 
tion of Albanian autonomy. Thanking Italy in 
the name of his people he expressed his hope that 
the Albanian government would be set up soon, 
and added, amidst a great popular ovation : 

"The Albanians do not want a small Moslem 
Albania, as some diplomats have planned in secret 
understandings, revealed lately, but a united Al- 
bania within her geographical, historical and racial 
frontiers. No statesman can decently claim at the 
next Peace Congress that our rights in the prov- 
inces of Kosovo, Northeastern Albania, and Cha- 
neria. South Albania, are less sacred than the 
rights of France to Alsace-Lorraine." 

The Albanians have made a special appeal to 
the United States to take an interest in their coun- 
try. Mehmet Konitza, delegate of the American 
Pan- Albanian Federation "Vatra," writes: 
"America has given her moral support to Albania 
in years past by enabling her to have the only 
free schools that were not a pretext of foreign 

propaganda It is the unanimous desire 

of the Albanians to turn to America for help and 
ask her to send a commission for a period of five 
years to give the country time to bring into action 
all its organizing forces." The case for Albanian 
independence was laid before President Wilson by 
the Reverend Fan Noli on American Independence 
Day, 1918. 


''I shall have one voice in the next Peace Con- 
gress and I shall use that voice in behalf of Al- 
bania," was the answer of President Wilson. 

Albania's history and its ethnographical com- 
pactness are such as to make its case for sovereign 
existence perfectly legitimate. "Provided she is 
secure in the frontiers which are her due — for 
otherwise she runs the risk of being strangled at 
birth," wrote Captain J. S. Barnes, "Albania has 
no reason to despair of a prosperous, and even a 
brilliant future. ... A strong, just and national 
government should soon give Albania her birth- 
right to civilization. The material is there, 
strongly endowed ; the resources are there, beyond 
doubt; she occupies an enviable geographical po- 
sition with the making of good harbors on the 
narrowest portion of one of the most important 
waterways of the world ; she lies across the path 
of what will one day be the quickest mail route 
from London to Suez, via Brindisi, Vlore, Janina, 
Kalabaka and the Piraeus. 

"The extent of her mineral resources is doubt- 
ful, beyond the rich bituminous deposits round 
Selintsa. But her future is none the less prom- 
ising. The cultivation of the vine, the olive, to- 
bacco, wheat, maize, hemp, flax, cotton, rive, valo- 
nia, the potato and fruits of every description, 
including the mulberry for the rearing of silk- 
worms, will form the staple industries, comple- 
mented by the manufacture of milk products, to- 


gether with sheep, horse and cattle rearing, affor- 
estation and sea and lake fisheries. The list by 
no means exhausts what might be profitably under- 
taken for export. Poultry farming, bee farming 
and the cultivation of the beetroot should be added 
before compiling supplementary lists of minor 
and by-products. The manufacture of silk, cotton, 
wool, leather and tow would have at hand their 
raw materials of high quality; and power would 
be supplied by the control of the abundant rivers. 
In addition, pottery, weaving, iron, silver and 
leather work have a long history as local indus- 
tries, which exploit the Albanians' delicate artis- 
tic sense, and are capable of considerable develop- 
ment. There are no grounds for pessimism in this 
quarter. ' ' 

Grounds for pessimism, however, do exist in 
other quarters. Albania, although perfectly en- 
titled to exist and develop as a nation, has not 
yet evolved a strong national consciousness, and 
is therefore unable to resist the encroachments 
of the Montenegrins, the Serbs, the Greeks and 
the Italians. Montenegro and Serbia both sought 
routes to the Adriatic through Albanian territory 
before 1914. The former was in possession of 
Dulcigno and strove to annex Scutari (Skodra). 
The latter was given by the powers the freedom of 
the port of Durazzo and the right to construct a 
railroad from Serbia through Albania to that har- 
bor. The two nations have, however, with the 


collapse of Austria-Hungary and the rise of a 
united Jugoslavia, plenty of accessible routes to 
the sea. There is therefore no longer any 
economic need for the Serbo-Montenegrin en- 
croachment upon Albania. Will they relinquish 
the Albanian territories now in their hands and 
the special privileges they had obtained there? 
If not, what will happen a quarter of a century 
hence when the Albanians develop sufficient 
national cohesion and spirit to fight for their 
rights ? Much more bitter is the struggle between 
Albanians and Greeks over what the first call 
Southern Albania and the second, Northern Epi- 
rus. It is inhabited by Moslem and Greek Ortho- 
dox Albanians who have, however, identified them- 
selves to a large degree with modern Greek 
civilization. Ethnically, then, there can be no 
doubt as to the Albanian character of the region. 
But culturally its inhabitants, the Epirots, have 
much in common with the Greeks. The only abso- 
lute means of ascertaining the desires of the Epi- 
rots is to ask them, by means of a referendum, 
held under neutral auspices, whether they prefer 
to belong to Greece or to Albania. The leaders 
of the latter, finding themselves outwitted by the 
Greek statesmen, have appealed to Italy to cham- 
pion their cause. Italy has a considerable Alba- 
nian population. Besides, Italy has a very deep 
interest in the strategically situated port of 
Valona, at the entrance into the Adriatic, Now 


the Italian government did not like Greece to get 
too close to Valona and therefore sought the in- 
corporation of the disputed Epirus territory in 
Albania, in which she succeeded, although pro- 
voking thereby the hostility of Greece. In Novem- 
ber, 1914, Italy, then a neutral, occupied Valona. 
In April, 1915, Italy concluded a secret treaty with 
England, France and Russia in which the Allies 
stipulated that to Serbia and Montenegro should 
belong a strip of Albania's Adriatic littoral, ex- 
tending as far south as the River Drin and includ- 
ing the ports of Dulcigno and S. Giovanni di 
Medua. The same clause provides that ''the port 
of Durazzo can be assigned to the independent 
Mohammedan state of Albania." Then come 
Articles VI and VII, which read : 

"Italy shall obtain in full ownership Valona, 
the island of Saseno and territory of sufficient 
extent to assure her against dangers of a military 
kind — approximately between the River Vojussa 
to the north and east, and the district of Shimar 
to the south. 

"Having obtained Trentino and Istria by Ar- 
ticle IV, Dalmatia and the Adriatic Islands by 
Article V, and also the Gulf of Valona, Italy 
undertakes, in the event of a small autonomous 
and neutralized state being formed in Albania, 
not to oppose the possible desire of France, Great 
Britain and Russia to partition the northern and 
southern districts of Albania between Montenegro, 


Serbia and Greece. The southern coast of Alba- 
nia, from the frontier of the Italian territory of 
Valona to Gape Stilos, is to be neutralized. 

' ' To Italy will be conceded the right of conduct- 
ing the foreig-n relations of Albania; in any case 
Italy will be bound to secure for Albania a terri- 
tory sufficiently extensive to enable its frontiers 
to join those of Greece and Serbia to the east of 
the Lake of Ohrida." 

It was on the strength of the above-quoted con- 
tract that Italian forces occupied Albania in 1917, 
although at the time the public was unaware of 
the existing treaty. While there can be no justifi- 
cation whatsoever for Italy's desire to make Al- 
bania an Italian province, it must be recognized 
that the port of Valona, because of its virtual 
domination of the whole Adriatic, cannot be al- 
lowed by the Italian government to pass into the 
hands of another strong nation. What is the 
solution? Give Valona to whom it rightfully be- 
longs, to Albania, suggests Arnold J. Toynbee, 
and guarantee its perpetual neutralization in 
some such provisions: 

" (a) Avlona (Valona) shall always remain part 
of Albania. 

f*(b) It shall never be fortified, either by Al- 
bania herself or by any large political group with 
a unified military organization, of which Albania 
may at any time hereafter become a member. ' ' 

The Albanian problem is pregnant with danger- 


ous possibilities. It is even more complicated 
than the Italian-Jugoslav dispute. Montenegro, 
Serbia, Greece and Italy are involved in its diffi- 
culties, and a failure to solve it fundamentally 
would mean the rise of another menace to the 
peace of Europe at some future date. 



Before the Russian Revolution of 1917 the 
world was practically ignorant of the existence 
of the Ukrainian problem. Then, when Ukraine 
dramatically entered the field of international 
relations by separating from Russia and conclud- 
ing its own peace with Germany, the world was 
appalled at the tremendous size and enormously 
vital geographical position of Ukraine. Who 
were the inhabitants of Ukraine and how did they 
come into possession of that fertile and rich coun- 
try that cut Russia off from the Black Sea? 

The fact is that the Ukrainians are not a race 
distinct from the Russians in origin. The Ukrain- 
ians are Russians. They have as much claim to 
that title as the people whom we call Russians. 
The latter, strictly speaking, are Great Russians. 
The Ukrainians are Little Russians. The two 
form nine-tenths of the Russian race proper. The 
other tenth is made up of the White Russians, 
lying between the Great Russians of the north 
and the Little Russians of the south. 

Ukraine means ' ' borderland. ' ' That name was 



given to the southern territory by the inhabitants 
of the northern, Muscovite, region. Had the Little 
Russians developed historically along the lines 
followed by the Great Russians, had they been 
confined to Russia, Ukraine would comprehend 
all of Little Russia. But a part of them came 
under the domination of Austria-Hungary, and 
there became known as Ruthenes, or Ruthenians. 
Their bulk is to be found in Eastern Galicia. The 
Little Russians are thus divided into two separate 
groups, although in language, religion, customs 
and early history they are one and the same peo- 

The history of Russia does not begin with the 
history of the Great Russians, but with that of the 
Little Russians. The first Russian kingdom or 
principality was established in Kiev, the capital 
of what is now Little Russia. When Kiev was a 
flourishing town, carrying on trade with the By- 
zantine Empire, the north of Russia was still 
undeveloped. Had no external forces interfered, 
Russia would perhaps have developed its strength 
in the south and eventually become dominated by 
the Little Russians. However, the Mongol in- 
vasions swept over the southern regions, driving 
the independent chiefs into the marshy and for- 
ested north. Kiev, the "Mother of Russian 
Cities," as it is still known, was conquered, while 
Moscow, in the heart of Great Russia, took over its 


It has been said, and not without justness, that 
had Kiev continued as the capital of all Russia, 
the Ukrainian problem would never have arisen 
and Little Russia would have considered itself 
as integral a part of the country as Great Russia. 
The difference in the language of the two groups 
was only dialectic. However, Muscovy was from 
the very beginning a highly centralized state, and 
Little Russia was never permitted to share in its 
councils and government. The result, of course, 
was the estrangement of the latter from its north- 
ern brother. 

Christianity entered Russia through the south. 
It was when Kiev was just rising that its Grand 
Duke, Vladimir, joined the Greek Church, and 
had all the inhabitants of Kiev baptized. After 
that Christianity spread northward and pene- 
trated into the vast country. Kiev is even now 
a holy city to the religious Russians, and hundreds 
of thousands of pilgrims flock to its sacred places 
annually from every corner of Russia. 

The Tartar invasions from the East drove many 
Little Russians westward, and they settled in 
Western Bukovina, Eastern Galicia and the sur- 
rounding territory. It was here that the Little 
Russians became known as Ruthenes in later years. 
This dispersal of the race weakened it, while to 
the northwest two great powers were developing, 
Lithuania and Poland. The latter obtained con- 
trol over Galicia in 1340, when the Polish king. 


Casimir the Great, established himself in Little 
Russia upon the death of its duke, in 1339. Lith- 
uania also coveted part of that southern land and 
the two kingdoms finally divided it among them- 
selves, Lithuania taking the eastern regions of 
Little Russia. But Lithuania later became united 
with Poland so that Little Russia, from the Car- 
pathians to the Don, was incorporated with 
Greater Poland. 

Under the rule of Poland Ukraine was sub- 
jected to considerable oppression. The Poles 
sought to impose their Catholic faith upon the 
Orthodox Little Russians. The Polish gentry suc- 
ceeded in Polonizing the Little Russian gentry by 
barring the latter from their diets unless they be- 
came Roman Catholics. The Little Russians were 
originally peasants. But the introduction of the 
institution of serfdom in the northern countries 
sent a whole stream of freemen and criminals to 
the southern steppes of the borderland — Ukraine. 
These adventurers formed the nucleus for the 
Cossacks, who were freelances banded together by 
the Polish government to combat the Tartar and 
Turkish invaders. The Cossacks loved freedom, 
and when the Polish and Lithuanian nobles ex- 
tended their grip over Ukraine and sought to im- 
pose serfdom on its inhabitants, a feeling of bitter 
enmity developed between the Ukrainians and 
their masters. As in many a similar case, relig- 
ious persecution and economic oppression helped 


to mold a national consciousness in the Little 
Russians, fostering first of all a spirit of revolt. 

This rebellious spirit, although prevalent 
throughout Ukraine, found its stronghold among 
the independent Cossack communities living along 
the lower Dnieper. A climax was reached in 1648, 
when the Cossacks, led by their great hetman, Bog- 
dan Khmelnitsky, raised the banner of insurrec- 
tion. Khmelnitsky was a small Cossack land- 
owner. He had been subjected to cruel ill-treat- 
ment by a Polish noble. Unable to obtain redress 
by law he centered his efforts on consolidating the 
spirit of discontent among his brethren. With a 
force of Cossacks and Tartars he started out 
northward in 1648, annihilating all the Poles and 
Polish Jews. A Polish leader, Potocki, made an 
attempt to stop his march with a force of four 
thousand. This contingent was wiped out, and a 
week later another Polish army was disastrously 
defeated by the rebels. The rising now assumed 
vast proportions, hundreds of thousands of insur- 
gent Ukrainians gathering about Khmelnitsky. 
The path of the Ukrainian advance was marked 
with unexampled bloodshed. Terrible atrocities 
were committed; whole cities were wiped out, so 
deep was the feeling of revenge in the Cossack 
heart. Poland was fairly shaken. An enormous 
army of a quarter of a million was finally re- 
cruited by the Poles to stop the advancing war- 


riors. The battle that ensued was a decisive vic- 
tory for the Cossacks. 

The Poles then offered terms to the Cossacks, 
but they were rejected by Khmelnitsky. Under 
the personal leadership of the king, the Poles con- 
tinued desperately their efforts to subdue the ris- 
ing. On the part of the Poles it was really a fight 
for the "privileges of the nobles and for religious 
intolerance," while the Cossacks fought for free- 
dom. After many battles the latter were defeated 
and peace was concluded, but not of long duration. 
Hostilities were renewed and the Cossacks found 
it necessary to transfer their allegiance to the Mus- 
covite Tsar. Khmelnitsky sent an envoy to the 
northern ruler offering Little Russia to him, as 
an autonomous unit. The treaty of Pereyaslav, 
concluded betwe^iii Ukraine and Russia in 1654, 
stipulated that the former retain its separate or- 
ganization under the afgis of Moscow. 

.The Ukrainian governmental system, if it may 
be described thus, was crudely republican. The 
hetman was elected by a general assembly of the 
Cossacks. This democratic institution was to be 
perpetuated even under the Tsar's suzeranity, 
according to the treaty. Perhaps if Khmelnitsky 
had lived long enough to establish firmly the 
proper relations with Moscow, Ukraine's auton- 
omy might have proved more or less durable. 
Unfortunately, Kkmelnitsky died in 1657, and 
Russia began to encroach upon Ukraine's rights. 


with a view toward the complete fusion of Little 
and Great Russia. By the peace of 1667, con- 
cluded between Russia and Poland, the latter ob- 
tained that part of Ukraine which adjoined it. Of 
course, this section lost its autonomy quickly. 
Eastern Ukraine, under Mazeppa, a bold hetman, 
sought an alliance with Charles XII of Sweden, 
in an effort to get rid of the oppressive Russian 
rule. This was during the reign of Peter the 
Great, who inflexibly pursued the policy of con- 
solidation. In the celebrated Battle of Poltava, 
1709, Sweden was disastrously beaten and Ma- 
zeppa fled to Turkey. Ukrainian autonomy was 
entirely abolished by Peter. 

After his death the office of hetman was re- 
stored, although considerably reduced in power, 
and lasted till 1764. At the same time as 
Ukraine's political institution was being demol- 
ished, Russia initiated measures of repression 
against the Ukrainian language. In 1680 it was 
banned from ecclesiastical literature. In 1720 the 
printing of Ukrainian books was prohibited, fol- 
lowed by the suppression of Ukrainian schools. 
According to one authority, there were in the 
eighteenth century in the province of Tchernigov 
alone 866 schools, while sixty years later none of 
them remained in existence. 

In 1772 and 1793-5, when Poland was parti- 
tioned, those parts of Ukraine which belonged to 
it were taken over by Russia, except Eastern Gali- 


cia and part of Bukovina. These latter, known 
as Rutlienia, went to Austria, disguised as Polish 
territory. The modern Ukrainian problem dates 
from this division and is really a double problem, 
that of the Ukrainians in Russia and of the 
Ukrainians in Galicia. In the first they were sub- 
jected to an intense campaign of Russification, 
while in the second they were controlled by the 
Poles who desired to have them Polonized. 

It was in Russian Ukraine that the ideas of 
Ukrainian nationalism were first born, doubtless 
because of the ruthless rule of Tsarism. It was 
there that the Ukrainian language finally assumed 
a literary form and found its champion and 
prophet in Taras Shevchenko, Ukraine's national 
poet. He was born a serf and raised as a serf, 
so that if not for the efforts of his Russian 
friends, he would have died a serf. He was per- 
secuted by the Tsar's authorities and finally was 
arrested and exiled. He became Ukraine's 
national hero, and around his name centered the 
Ukrainian movement for national revival. Even 
as early as the first half of the nineteenth cen- 
tury, there was already an organization in 
Ukraine aiming to make it an independent unit 
in a federation of Slavic states. When the revo- 
lutionary movement in Russia assumed large pro- 
portions, the Ukrainians were among its most 
active promoters. It is remarked by an Ukrainian 
publicist that while the Russian revolutionary or- 


ganizations were favoring the idea of a central 
governmental power to be established on the ruins 
of Tsardom, the Ukrainian revolutionists were 
aiming at the reorganization of Russia on a fed- 
eral basis. It is vital to note this difference. 
Unfortunately it was overlooked when the two 
elements struggled for the overthrow of the autoc- 
racy, and became a stumbling-block after the revo- 

Toward the middle of the nineteenth century 
Austria initiated a new policy in Galicia. Previ- 
ously it had supported the Poles in their persecu- 
tions of the Ruthenians. In order to make trouble 
for Russia and to curb the Poles it was found 
necessary to encourage the Ukrainian national 
movement. The Ukrainian nationalists, driven 
from Russia, found a haven in Galicia. The 
Ruthenians were even allowed to establish profes- 
sorships in the University of Lemberg. It has 
been said that the Teuton monarchies aimed at the 
creation of a united autonomous Ukraine to 
weaken Russia. A large literature was printed in 
Galicia and circulated secretly in Russian Ukraine, 
instigating rebellion and propagating Ukrainian 
nationalism. Several Ukrainian revolutionary 
parties were active in Russia in the first years of 
the present century. The outbreak of 1905 gave 
strong impetus to the Ukrainian movement. In 
the autumn of that year thirty-four Ukrainian 
periodicals were being published. In the mutiny 


of the Russian Black Sea fleet of that year the 
Ukrainians had the lion's share. There were 
forty Ukrainian nationalist members in the first 
Russian Duma. They demanded autonomy. The 
subsequent Ukrainian representations in the Duma 
upheld this demand, adding to it a demand for 
the restoration to Ukraine of all the rights ac- 
corded to it by the Treaty of Pereyaslav of 1654. 

Simultaneously with the tribulations of Russian 
Ukraine there was a stirring of forces in Austrian 
Ukraine or Ruthenia, where the Poles dominated. 
Speaking of the Ruthenes, Yaroslav Fedortchuk, 
a native writer, says : ' ' Although since 1772 they 
have been Austrian, they have, as a matter of fact, 
remained under Polish 'patronage.' At first the 
Austrian government limited the power which the 
great Polish landowners exercised over their 
Ukrainian serfs. During the revolution of 1848 
the Austrian government sought, against the 
Poles and the Hungarians, the support of the 
Ukrainians, and promised them the division of 
Galicia into two parts nationally distinct, the in- 
troduction of teaching in the Ukrainian language 
throughout their own schools, and finally the en- 
franchisement of the peasants from a state of 
serfdom. Having crushed the revolution the gov- 
ernment abolished serfdom, but took no further 
notice of the other Ukrainian claims." 

In 1873 the Poles entered into a secret compact 
\^4th the Austrian government, whereby their 


supremacy in Galicia was guaranteed. A Pole was 
appointed to the cabinet, responsible to the Polish 
deputies in parliament. This strengthened the 
Polish repressive policy toward the Ruthenians. 
Measures were promulgated by the Poles making 
it difficult for the Ukrainians to erect higher 
schools. Eastern Galicia, eighty per cent, of 
whose population is Ruthenian, became the scene 
of a fierce Polish-Ukrainian struggle, centering at 
first around the Lemberg University, from which 
the Poles tried to oust the Ukrainian professor- 
ships. In 1900 the Ukrainian students struck and 
left the University. The Austrian government 
proposed the establishment of a separate Ukrain- 
ian university if the Poles would consent, but the 
Lemberg City Council refused such consent. 

'* Following the Prussian methods of coloniza- 
tion, ' ' writes Pedortchuk, ' ' the great Polish land- 
lords, who owned land in the Ukrainian part of 
Galicia, dare not sell their land to the Ukrainian 
peasants. When they do, they are considered as 
traitors and are boycotted by the Poles, the Polish 
motto being: 'Not one foot of ground to the 
Ukrainians.' The Ukrainian peasants, the prole- 
tarians of the agricultural life, are obliged to work 
for a miserable pittance Ukrainian ground, which 
constitutes the domain of the Polish nobleman. 
They are shamefully exploited, and in case of re- 
sistance or boycott they are treated like bandits; 


they are chained, flogged, brought barefoot to the 
town prisons and finally sentenced. ' ' 

The conditions under which the Ukrainians 
lived in Galicia finally culminated in a general 
strike, in 1902, and which extended over all of 
Eastern Galicia. This was preceded, in 1897, by 
a conflict with the Poles which resulted in the 
murder of eight Ukrainians and many wounded^ 
In 1900 two political parties were organized by 
the Ukrainians in Galicia. They demanded tho 
division of Galicia into two parts. Eastern and 
Western, the former to be constituted as a sepa- 
rate Ukrainian province. It was these parties who 
were responsible for the strike of 1902 and for 
the numerous subsequent demonstrations. The 
revolutionary outbreaks in Russia in 1905 rever- 
berated in Eastern Galicia and the Ukrainian 
movement there gained in intensity just as the 
Polish policy of suppression grew in severity. 
The dramatic climax of the contest occurred in 
1908 when the Polish governor of Galicia, Count 
Potocki, was shot by Miroslav Sichinsky, a 
Ukrainian student. The indictment of the assassin 
recognized the fact that the shooting was the out- 
come of the struggle of the Ukrainian peasants 
against the Polish nobility, admitting that the slain 
governor supported the Russian policy in Galicia. 
In 1913 a semi-official Russian statement said that 
a secret pact between the Polish leaders in Galicia 
and the Russian Prime Minister Stolypin was in 


existence. This agreement apparently was the 
result of the menace which the Ukrainian demo- 
cratic movement constituted to both the Russian 
autocracy and Polish aristocracy. Sichinsky later 
escaped and made his way to the United States, 
where he was admitted after the United States 
government held his offense to have been a politi- 
cal act. 

The Great War brought Galicia into the inter- 
national arena. The Russian armies occupied 
Galicia in 1914 and immediately the Tsar's gov- 
ernment instituted a campaign of Russification 
there. The reactionary Russian Governor-Gen- 
eral, Count Bobrinsky, issued a proclamation in 
which he announced that he considered ' ' Lemberg, 
in East Galicia, the real cradle of Great Russia, 
since the original population was Russian," and 
that he intended to reorganize the country on the 
basis of Russian ideals. The Russian language 
was immediately introduced and the Ukrainian 
prohibited. Russian oflBcials were appointed and 
the Ruthenian Uniate Church subjected to perse- 
cution. The Ukrainian deputy Levitsky protested 
in the Austrian parliament against the Russian 
activities, while in the Russian Duma the same 
methods were denounced by the radical members. 
When the Russians were driven out of Galicia 
and Russian Poland was occupied by the Central 
Powers, the latter sought to win the support of 
the Poles by setting up a reunited Poland under 


their protection. The Ukrainians in Galicia were 
alarmed at the prospect of being incorporated in 
Poland and again raised their voices for auton- 

The Russian Revolution quickly gave birth to a 
Ukrainian national assembly, or Rada, which met 
in Kiev. If the Ukrainian nationalists had de- 
manded complete separation from Russia previous 
to the revolution, it was due to the rule of Tsar- 
ism. In a free Russia the Ukrainians expressed 
themselves in favor of a union with Russia on a 
federal basis. Unfortunately the Provisional 
Governments of Lvov and Kerensky still dreamed 
of a centralized and indivisible Russia. Had 
Kerensky realized early Ukraine's just demands 
for autonomy, the course of subsequent world 
events might have been different, for Ukraine did 
not come under the domination of the Bolsheviki 
when they took over the government in Petrograd. 
Nationalist Ukraine, alienated from Russia by 
Lvov, Kerensky and Lenine, adopted a remarkably 
broad-hearted attitude toward Russia, although 
the ''separatists," mostly Austrophiles hailing 
from Ruthenia, did attain considerable influence in 
Ukrainian circles. Nevertheless, Ukraine's liberal 
policy triumphed, as clearly shown by the Gen- 
eral Proclamation of the Ukrainian National 
Council of the 20th of November, 1917, which was 
Ukraine's declaration of independence. It read, 
in part, as follows : 


* ' Ukraiman people and all peoples of the 
Ukraine! An hour of trials and difficulties has 
come for the land of the Russian Republic. In the 
north, in the capitals (Petrograd and Moscow), 
a bloody internecine struggle is in progress. A 
Central Government no longer exists, and anarchy, 
disorder and ruin are spreading throughout the 

''Our country also is in danger. Without a 
strong, united and popular Government, Ukraine 
also may fall into the abyss of civil war, slaughter 
and destruction. 

''People of Ukraine, you together with the 
brother peoples of Ukraine, have entrusted us with 
the task of protecting rights won by struggle, of 
creating order and building up a new life in our 
land. And we, the Ukrainian Central Rada, by 
your will, for the sake of creating order in our 
country and for the sake of saving the whole of 
Russia, announce that henceforth Ukraine be- 
comes the Ukrainian National Republic. Without 
separating from the Russian Republic, and pre- 
serving its unity, we take up our stand firmly on 
our lands that with our strength we may help the 
whole of Russia and that the whole Russian Re- 
public may become a federation of free and equal 
peoples. . . . 

"Likewise we shall insist that at the Peace 
Congress the rights of the Ukrainian people in 
Russia and outside Russia shall not be infringed 


in the treaty of peace. But until peace comes, 
every citizen of the Republic of Ukraine, together 
with the citizens of all the peoples of the Rus- 
sian Republic, must stand firmly in their positions 
both at the front and in the rear. . . . 

' ' Citizens ! In the name of the National Ukrain- 
ian Republic in federal Russia, we, the Ukrainian 
Central Rada, call upon all to struggle resolutely 
with all forms of anarchy and disorder, and to help 
in the great work of building up new State forms, 
which will give the great and powerful Russian 
Republic health, strength and a new future. The 
working out of these forms must be carried out at 
the Ukrainian and all-Russian Constituent As- 

The rise of Bolshevism in Russia produced a 
corresponding effect on the proletariat of Ukraine, 
and a struggle ensued between Ukrainian Bolshe- 
vism and Ukrainian nationalism. The struggle 
was of brief duration. Bolshevism succumbed to 
the nationalist elements, reenforced by the Central 
Powers, who were naturally interested in dis- 
rupting Russia. The Ukrainians sent a separate 
commission to negotiate peace with the Central 
Powers. As a result of the separate peace the 
Teutons extended their influence in Ukraine and 
finally dissolved the Ukrainian national Rada 
and set up in its stead a dictatorship headed by 
Hetman Skoropadsky, who remained an power 
leaning on German bayonets. The downfaB of the 


Central Powers naturally led to the downfall of 
their puppet. The breakup of Austria liberated 
the Austrian Ukrainians, or Ruthenians, and 
there was no apparent obstacle toward their union 
with Russian Ukraine. But such an obstacle did 
arise as soon as the Poles learned that the Ukrain- 
ian National Council took over the administration 
of Eastern Galicia. The former would not admif 
the national claims of the Ruthenians, and war 
between the two races opened when Lemberg was 
occupied by the Ukrainians. Polish troops re- 
conquered the city, but the Ukrainians besieged 
it again in January, 1919. 

The Ukrainian problem is fairly complicated. 
The Russian Ukrainians do not demand complete 
separation from Russia, realizing that it would 
cut off the latter from the Black Sea and virtually 
strangle the hundred-million nation to the north. 
Russian Ukraine would therefore prefer to be- 
come an autonomous member of an all-Russian 
federation. The Ukrainians in Galicia and Buko- 
vina are actuated by two motives mainly. First, 
liberation from the yoke of the Polish nobility and 
separation from Poland. Second, reunion with 
their brethren to the east. 

If the principle of self-determination be justly 
applied to the Ukrainian problem, its solution 
would necessarily follow ethnic lines. But these 
lines are rather vague in the east and north, where 
the Little Russians and Great Russians and White 


Russians are merged. The Ukrainian national 
council claimed in Russia for Ukraine the prov- 
inces of Kiev, Podolia, Volhynia, Chernigov, Pol- 
tava, Kharkov, Yekaterinoslav, Kherson and 
Taurig (less the Crimea). In addition, it claimed 
some districts of other adjoining provinces, in- 
Jcluding that of Kholm, which the Poles also 
claimed for Poland, thus creating another Polish- 
Ukrainian quarrel. The main dispute is, of 
course, in Galicia. The Poles claim Lemberg, the 
capital of Eastern Galicia, on the ground that a 
majority of its inhabitants are Poles. Counting 
the Polish Jews, this is true of Lemberg and its 
immediate vicinity. But do the Polish Jews pre- 
fer Poland to Ukraine? And what about the in- 
disputable fact that the larger territory in the 
midst of which Lemberg is situated is inhabited by 
a majority of Ukrainians? 

When the ethnographic frontiers of Ukraine 
are drawn, it emerges a vast country, stretching 
from the Carpathians to the Caucasus. On the 
south it is bounded by the Black Sea, Rumania 
and Hungary; on the west, by Czecho-Slovakia 
and Poland ; on the north and east by Russia. Ac- 
cording to the Russian Imperial census of 1897 
there were 22,000,000 Ukrainians in Russia, and 
their number must have considerably increased in 
the following twenty years. In Eastern Galicia 
and Bukovina there were 4,000,000 Ukrainians, 
bringing the present total for the nation well above 


30,000,000, spread over more than three hundred 
thousand square miles, a territory almost as large 
as France and Spain combined. 

Ukraine is an extremely fertile and wealthy 
country. Without Ukraine Russia would be un- 
able to breathe and prosper. A settlement of the 
Ukrainian problem can therefore not be effected 
without consideration for Russia, as the latter 
would sooner or later break the barrier of an in- 
dependent Ukraine and provoke another war. 
The Ukrainians realize this and, while pleading 
for the recognition of their national rights, express 
their willingness to enter a federation of Russian 
States patterned after the United States of 



The case of Poland exemplifies to an almost per- 
fect degree all those elements which call for the 
constitution of a subject people into a sovereign 
nation. Historical justice, national consciousness, 
ethnographic position are factors which in the 
Polish problem are made of solid material. The 
dismemberment of Poland is so fresh an event 
in history that no just settlement of the problem 
of nationality in Europe can be imagined without 
the restoration of Polish sovereignty. The Polish 
national consciousness does not suffer from a lack 
of depth and vigor, but from too much strength 
and passion. Ethnographically, Poland is a com- 
pact territorial unit. It is bounded on the north by 
East Prussia and extends to the Baltic Sea west 
of Danzig; it touches Lithuania in the northeast 
and adjoins White Russia and Ukraine in the 
east ; on the south it is bounded by Czecho-Slova- 
kia and on the west by Prussia. 

The early history of Poland is wrapped in my- 
thology. The ancestors of the Poles appeared on 
the stage of European history about twelve cen- 



turies ago. Inhabiting what is in effect a huge 
plain, they became known to foreign travelers as 
*'Polans," the word ''pole" in Slavic meaning 
''field." These dwellers of what now is known 
as Poland, were divided before the ninth century 
into numerous independent tribes, governed by 
elected chiefs. 

During the reign of Otto the Great, Germany 
became a menace to the Poles and they banded 
themselves together under the leadership of one 
of their chiefs, a member of the humble family 
of the Piasts, who was elected the first ruler of 
Poland in 842. He and his son consolidated the 
country, introduced military reforms and taught 
the Poles the art of organized warfare. How- 
ever, the authentic records of Polish history date 
from 962, when Micezyslaw I ascended the throne. 
It was he who introduced Christianity into Poland, 
through his marriage to a Christian princess of 
Bohemia. In 968 he founded the city of Posen, 
considered the cradle of their country by the Poles. 
The expansion of Poland began with the reign 
of Boleslaw I, in 992. He succeeded in winning 
the friendship of Germany, after which he turned 
to the East and conquered the rich Russian town 
of Kiev. Boleslaw died in 1025, going down into 
history as the Brave, and leaving a great empire 
to his successors. 

Meanwhile an event of tremendous consequence 
to the Slavic races was occurring. The two great 


churches, the Greek and Roman, were struggling 
to extend their respective influences over the Slavs. 
While the Russians were coming under the domi- 
nation of the Eastern Church, the Poles were being 
brought into the folds of the Roman Church. This 
division affected the future of Slavdom pro- 
foundly. As one historian observes, the Eastern 
Church cut off Russia to an enormous extent from 
Western thought and culture, and threw her back 
upon her own undeveloped resources and uncivil- 
ized environment. Russia was the last of the great 
powers to consolidate her empire. Poland, on the 
other hand, through the Roman Church, had a 
Western outlook. Western literature, art, philos- 
ophy and science, as well as religion, flowed 
within its borders, and as time went on greatly 
widened the breach between Poland and Russia. 

If not geographically, spiritually Poland became 
a Western state. As such, it was the first to be- 
come the victim of the Asiatic invasions that 
swept over Europe, beginning with the thirteenth 
century. In 1241 the Mongolian hordes, emerging 
from the East, passed through Poland, leaving a 
trail of blood and devastation in their wake. It 
is interesting to observe that Poland's rehabilita- 
tion, after the invasion, was effected with the co- 
operation of large immigrant elements from West- 
ern Europe, mostly Germans and Jews. The rea- 
son for the movement of the latter into Poland 
was largely religious. Persecuted in the West, 


they found a haven in the new Slavic state, which 
early proclaimed religious toleration. The Jews 
came to Poland from Germany in the eleventh cen- 
tury. A charter granting them the right to reside 
in Polish cities was issued by King Ladislaw Her- 
man in 1096. 

In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries Poland 
was in a state of internal discord. However, with 
the rise of Casimir III to the throne in 1332 Poland 
entered upon an era of greatness. A statesman of 
the first rank, Casimir expanded his kingdom to 
unprecedented size. Polish civilization made great 
strides under Casimir 's rule. In 1347 a general 
diet was convoked to promulgate national laws. 
The fruit of this legislative assembly's labors was 
the famous ''Statute of Wislica," Poland's Magna 
Charta. Thirteen years before a law had been 
enacted which freed the Jews from all civil and 
commercial disabilities. In 1357 another statute, 
improving the condition of the Jews, was passed. 
In 1364 the University of Cracow was founded, 
the second in Europe. An event of great impor- 
tance occurred during Casimir 's reign, which 
formed the foundation for one of the most compli- 
cated phases of the present Polish problem. 
Ruthenia, a vast stretch of land spreading from 
the Danube to the Dnieper and beyond it, compris- 
ing Eastern Galicia, with its capital Lwow, or 
Lemberg, and Little Russia, with its capital Kiev, 


was inlierited by Casimir in 1340 from his mother. 
This land is now known as the Ukraine. 

After the death of Casimir, another important 
event happened, which also left its mark deep in 
the history of Poland. Qneen Jadwiga, a grand- 
niece of Casimir, was united in marriage with Jag- 
iello, the Prince of Lithuania, in 1386. The pur- 
pose of this marriage was to bring about an en- 
tente between Poland and Lithuania. Jagiello, 
a pagan, was baptized by the name of Ladislaw II, 
assumed the throne of the two countries under a 
single crown. This union remained personal for 
almost two centuries. It was only in 1569 that the 
two states were knit into a close alliance through 
the fusion of their national diets. One joint as- 
sembly was elected by the provincial dietines and 
Warsaw was chosen as the meeting-place for it, 
being situated between the two countries. 

It is vital to note that the force which held 
Lithuania and Poland so long together was in- 
troduced by the Poles in the thirteenth century 
into the Baltic region. This force was the Order 
of the Teutonic Knights, and a Polish duke in- 
vited it to enter Old Prussia to combat its inhabi- 
tants, who were of Slavonic origin. This was a 
fatal blunder. The Teutons conquered the original 
Prussians and soon became a menace to the Poles 
and Lithuanians. They occupied the Baltic coast 
and extended their power in all directions. In 
1410 the famous Battle of Grilnwald was fought 


between the Teutons and the Poles and Lithuani- 
ans. The former were beaten and Poland re- 
gained the towns of Danzig and Thorn. Eastern 
Prussia was held by the Teutonic Knights under 
the Eegis of Poland. It presents to-day one of the 
greatest difficulties attending a just solution of the 
Polish problem. 

*'The sixteenth century," writes Nimian Hill, 
' ' was the period when the prosperity and fame of 
Poland reached its zenith. It was a wonderful 
century everywhere, when the new life of the Ren- 
aissance was pulsating with exuberant virility, and 
Poland shared in no small measure its progress 
and joy. Early in its course the new movement 
found a champion in Sigismund I, whose second 
wife was Bona Sforza, a daughter of the Duke of 
Milan. Under their patronage Italian architects 
and craftsmen were brought to Poland, where the 
artistic temperament of the Poles assured them of 
appreciation and encouragement. Art and science, 
liberally supported by the wealth of the nobles, 
flourished and led to a display of such luxury and 
grandeur as excited the admiration of all Europe." 

Simultaneously with the attainment by Poland 
of its great position as a state in Europe the ele- 
ments of disintegration were rising in her system. 
And these elements were due to Poland's experi- 
ments in democracy. Beginning with 1425, the 
Polish diet began to exercise control over the elec- 
tion of the country's kings. The diets were as- 


semblies representing the gentry, or szlacMa, 
which was composed of the privileged classes. 
The szlacMa became the decisive factor in Polish 
national life. It used its elective powers to obtain 
special rights and privileges. Thus it won its first 
habeas corpus statute for recognizing the infant 
son of Ladislaw II as heir to the throne. A king 
would be elected for life, but his rule was con- 
ditioned on his keeping of the promises made. In 
case he failed to do so, the country was absolved 
from all obedience to him. The diet met irregu- 
larly, but the tendency was to limit the perogatives 
of the king. In 1454 Casimir IV pledged himself 
not to declare any war without the consent of the 
diets. Shortly afterward the diet obtained control 
over the national militia. 

It is true, the szlaclita, which constituted the 
diet, passed laws that were detrimental to any 
other class of the people but themselves. Still, it 
was a foundation for a legislative chamber that 
in favorable circumstances would have developed 
into a great parliamentary system. Perhaps if 
Poland had been so situated geographically as to 
be safe from foreign invasions and hostile neigh- 
bors, it would have achieved, ultimately, demo- 
cratic government. As it was, self-governed 
Poland's only hope for the preservation of its 
life lay in internal harmony and unity. This con- 
dition, unfortunately, was absent from Polish life. 
The jealousies of the various nobles superseded 


the interests of the nation. The youthful Polish 
democracy was therefore doomed to an existence 
of constant peril from the very outset of its stormy 

Following the death of Sigismund II, a diet was 
convoked to elect the new king. The constitution 
was altered on the eve of the election so as to limit 
the authority of the newly elected monarch to an 
extraordinary degree. The king was to have no 
voice in the election of his successor. He was not 
to be an hereditary sovereign. He was to marry 
a woman chosen by the senate and was to be under 
the constant supervision of a Senate delegation. 
The king could not lead any troops out of Poland 
unless with the consent of the Assembly. The 
elected candidate, Henry of Valois, found his 
throne so uncomfortable that after a reign of 
thirteen months he decided to flee. Stealing out 
of his castle in the night, he fled on horseback with 
a few servants to France. 

Poland was, in effect, a republic. The diet soon 
developed into a two-chamber assembly, the senate 
being composed of the higher nobility, while the 
lower house represented the poorer szlachta. But 
that was not the age of republicanism in Eastern 
Europe. It was the age of conquest and endless 
warfare. A strong central government was what 
Poland reaUy needed, but few realized it at the 
time. The gentry, large and small, was dominated 
by petty passions and selfish motives. They 


showed no disposition to share the burden of the 
government. Theirs was but to criticize and to 
see to it that no taxes be imposed on their class. 
They took it for granted that it was up to the 
king, once elected, to govern the state. It was 
not for them to provide him with the necessary 
resources. To be sure it was an erratic democracy. 
But has democracy in the twentieth century 
achieved perfection? Poland was groping in the 
dark, but with a parliamentary system of govern- 
ment, nevertheless. If Poland had been situated 
like England, instead of in the midst of Europe, 
surrounded by autocratic Russia and Germany, 
it would finally have emerged a modem democracy. 
But there was no safety in Poland's position and 
peace was not to be its lot. 

Up to 1648 Poland maintained its imposing state 
in spite of internal discord and much external 
trouble. Beginning with that year the disintegra- 
tion of the Polish power followed with amazing 
swiftness. That was the year of the great Ukrain- 
ian revolt, under the leadership of Bogdan Elhmel- 
nitsky, the famous Cossack hetman. The Ukrain- 
ians were a free people, and the Cossacks among 
them were recruited largely from daring refugees 
from Russia. They were frontiersmen, used by 
the Polish rulers to combat the Turks and Tartars 
who occasionally emerged from the south. Grad- 
ually, however, the Polish nobility extended its 
grip on these freemen. They were rebellious 


against this foreign yoke and finally broke loose, 
led by Khmelnitsky, in a terrible war for political 
and religious freedom. Ukraine rose, the Cossacks 
united with the Tartars, and wiped out all Catho- 
lics and Jews. The Polish nobles were murdered, 
burned alive and their houses and castles reduced 
to ashes. The Polish armies were annihilated, 
one after another, and Poland lay prostrate before 
the Ukrainian hosts. Khmelnitsky was recognized 
as the hetman of Ukraine, and for a year and a 
half ruled it. However, in 1651, Khmelnitsky and 
his forces were defeated by Stefan Czarniecki, 
the great Polish leader. This victory proved a 
disaster to Poland. Ukraine transferred its al- 
legiance to Russia, thereby bringing about one of 
the most hideous wars in history. 

Russia advanced against Poland, quickly oc- 
cupied Lithuania and with the aid of the Cossacks 
conquered Lemberg and Ruthenia, thus consolidat- 
ing all of Ukraine under the Tsar's scepter. At 
the same time Sweden saw its opportunity and 
invaded Poland from the north, meeting practi- 
cally with no resistance, as the Polish gentry de- 
serted their King and went over to Sweden 's side. 
Then, for a while, Poland was virtually wiped out 
as a state. The king, John Casimir, fled to Silesia. 
Warsaw and Cracow were occupied by the Swedes. 

When everything seemed to have been irrepar- 
ably lost, a religious and patriotic movement 
originated at the C?;enstochowa Monastery, a,tn:i- 


ing at the restoration of the state. The insurgents 
met with success in the beginning, as the Swedes 
were then waging a bitter war against Denmark. 
Under the leadership of Czarniecki the Poles 
freed most of their country from the Russians and 
the king was returned to his throne. But no great 
change was wrought by the rebellion in the inter- 
nal affairs of Poland. The country soon drifted 
into its former condition of corruption and in- 
trigue. The celebrated "Liberum Veto" was in- 
troduced into the diet, by which a single dissenter 
could defeat a bill and even dissolve the assembly. 
Foreign governments utilized this extreme instru- 
ment of democracy for their own benefit. The in- 
ternal demoralization continued to grow in Poland, 
in spite of the fact that it produced one of its 
most brilliant rulers toward the end of the seven- 
teenth century. 

John Sobieski, a military genius of the first 
rank, was chosen king in 1674. He defended his 
country with great skill against the Turks and 
later rendered imperishable service to the cause 
of Western civilization, when he relieved Vienna, 
in 1683, by inflicting a crushing blow upon the ag- 
gressive Ottoman forces. After Sobieski followed 
a period of civil war and another Swedish invasion. 
Poland continued to decline during the eighteenth 
century till it reached the stage when it '^ ceased 
to exhibit any evidence of national life and vir- 
tue,'* according to one publicist. "It was a time 


of external peace, internal stagnation and moral 
decay. . . . The end was hastening on. The de- 
cline of Poland was irremediable." 

Then followed the great crime. Prussia, Rus- 
sia and Austria deliberately plotted to destroy the 
Polish republic. What is usually overlooked 
about this revolting plot is that it was carried out 
by three Teutonic rulers, for Catherine the Great 
was really a Prussian princess and the protegee of 
Frederick the Great. It was the latter who took 
the initiative in the movement to dismember 
Poland. In 1769 he sent a special envoy to Russia 
to sound Catherine on a scheme to partition 
Poland. In 1772 the first partition of Poland oc- 

What were the motives that urged Prussia and 
Russia to fall upon Poland and tear it to pieces? 
Paderewski says that '^ Poland fell because her 
neighbors were greedy, unscrupulous and strong! 
Poland fell because she was generous, humane and 
weak! Poland fell, to tell you the truth, because 
she had no permanent army to defend her posses- 
sions. But, do not think that Poland fell alone! 
With the Polish republic fell also the honor of 
three monarchies. With our independence fell 
also the apathetic conscience of civilized Europe. 
They will not rise, they will not cleanse them- 
selves, until our freedom is restored again." 

But Poland fell also because she was evolving 
a system of government contrary to the prin- 


ciple of autocracy. In fact, old, decayed Poland 
was about to give way to a new, modern Poland. 
France was undergoing a process that was bound 
to have profound effects on Poland. France was 
giving birth to those powerful ideas which her- 
alded a new social and political world order. 
Poland could not help reacting to them. It soon 
followed France in the path of regeneration. But 
it had the misfortune of being situated among 
three powers that had already learned to elevate 
autocracy into a modern institution. It was there- 
fore in the interests of these powers to safeguard 
their own system of government from the dangers 
of democracy. 

By the first partition Prussia robbed Poland of 
the Baltic littoral, taking all of West Prussia, ex- 
cept the cities of Danzig and Thorn. Russia ob- 
tained the provinces of Polock, Vitebsk and Mog- 
hilev, which were, strictly speaking, half Rus- 
sian and half Lithuanian, but not Polish, in popu- 
lation. Austria secured Galicia and some border- 
ing territory. Thus, in the first partition only 
Prussia and Austria obtained control over parts 
of Poland that were inhabited by Poles. 

Following the first partition comparative order 
reigned in Poland for a couple of decades. The 
people were under the delusion that the appetites 
of their neighbors had been satisfied and that 
henceforth Poland's integTity would be respected 
and her independence secured. Intellectually, 


Poland made great progress in the latter part of 
the eighteenth century. Her trade flourished, in 
spite of her loss of the Baltic littoral. The ideas 
of Jean Jacques Rousseau and contemporary 
French philosophers made headway among the 
Poles. Politically, however, the Poles smarted 
under the humiliation of Russian rule and in- 
trigue, as the Polish king, Stanislaw, was the pup- 
pet of Catherine the Great. Poland found an op- 
portunity to breathe freely in 1787, when Rus- 
sia became engaged in a war on Turkey. Poland 
began to set her house in order. A diet was con- 
voked, which went down into history under the 
name of ^'The Four Years' Diet." It was to 
elaborate a new constitution. The diet was com- 
posed mainly of young, enthusiastic, patriotic 
deputies. The constitution finally adopted by the 
assembly made the form of government a limited 
and hereditary monarchy. The Liberum Veto was 
abolished. The franchise was so extended as to 
give the vote to the townsmen, on an equal basis 
with the nobles. The condition of the peasants 
was improved. A provision was made for relig- 
ious toleration. The constitution embodied many 
other reforms, and it was greeted with tremendous 
popular rejoicings. Poland became a democracy 
in a modern sense, with a constitution that is still 
considered to have been the most advanced of its 

The transformation that occurred in Poland 


was not to the liking of autocratic Eussia. Cathe- 
rine the Great adopted at first a cold, and later an 
openly hostile attitude toward the new Polish 
revolutionary constitution. She was aided in her 
designs by a group of treacherous Polish mag- 
nates, led by Prince Felix Potocki, who were 
naturally displeased with the democratic move- 
ment. The Russian Empress now declared war 
on Poland and sent an army of 100,000 against it. 
The Polish forces were numerically much weaker 
and were compelled to retire before the Eussian 
invaders. The Poles appealed for help to Frede-, 
rick William, King of Prussia, who had previously 
approved of the constitution and adopted a 
friendly policy toward Poland. However, he was 
now embroiled in the celebrated campaign against 
revolutionary France, and could not very well 
support, even morally, a course in Poland whicfi 
he opposed in France. He announced that he 
would cooperate with Eussia and Austria in "re- 
storing order ' ' in Poland. 

''The Poles were aghast," according to one 
writer, "at the turn of affairs. The constitution 
from which so much had been expected, instead of 
assuring peace and prosperity, was doing nothing 
but increasing internal dissensions and causing 
renewed foreign intervention." The Polish 
troops, in spite of their hard resistance, were too 
weak to withstand the Prussian and Eussian 
armies. The former occupied Danzig and Thorn 


in January of 1793. Under the leadership of 
Prince Joseph Poniatowski the Poles succeeded 
in retarding somewhat the Russian advance. 
Meanwhile, a new figure appeared on the scene. 
His name was Thaddeus Kosciuszko, who fought 
under Washington in the American War of In- 
dependence. He brilliantly marshaled the small 
forces of his country, but in vain. There was no 
unity in the heart of Poland. The king was a 
weakling, and with the lesson of Louis the Six- 
teenth, who was executed on the 21st of January, 
1793, before him, he joined the confederation of 
the renegade Polish magnates that supported 
Catherine's schemes. The constitution was re- 
pealed, the Polish leaders fled, and the confeder- 
ation was set up as the government of the country, 
placing Poland virtually in the hands of Catherine. 
In accordance with a secret treaty concluded 
between Russia and Prussia, the second partition 
of Poland then took place. To give this criminal 
act a semblance of legality, a diet was assembled 
at Grodno. Its membership was packed, and yet, 
in spite of all threats from the Russian ambassa- 
dor, it was slow to ratify the treaty of dismem- 
berment. Finally, grenadiers were introduced 
into the assembly-place and four cannon were 
pointed against the meeting-chamber. The Rus- 
sian general was present to enforce the ratifica- 
tion. But to the eternal honor of the Poles, they 
refused to be intimidated, even after four of them 


had been arrested. The deputies then decided not 
to transact any business till their colleagues were 
freed. Silence reigned in the hall Nobody spoke. 
The Eussian ambassador made it clear that no 
one would be allowed to leave the chamber unless 
the treaty was ratified. Silence was the diet's 
response to this, too. Hour after hour passed in 
stillness. Midnight came and went in silence. 
Finally, at three o'clock in the morning, after the 
marshal had again asked the deputies for a votcj 
it was suggested that silence might be construed as 
an expression of assent. The Eussian ambassa- 
dor read the instructions of Catherine, which in 
addition to Eussia's annexation of Lithuania, 
White Eussia, and the Ukrainian provinces incor- 
porated in Poland, provided for the cession of 
purely Polish territory to Prussia, and which was 
the chief cause for the deputies ' objection. It was 
then announced the treaty had been ratified. The 
second partition of Poland was accomplished 
through this "dumb sitting." 

A wave of patriotic frenzy swept over Poland, 
as a result of the humiliation of the second par- 
tition. The spirit of revolt spread widely, fostered 
by general dissatisfaction, due to the breakdown 
of commerce and trade. It finally took the form 
of an insurrection in Cracow where, on the 24th of 
March, 1794, the cry was raised by the populace of 
*' Liberty, Integrity and Independence!" The 
man to whom the insurgents naturally turned was 


Kosciuszko, who was then living in retirement in 
Dresden. He heard the call of his countrymen and 
hurried to Cracow, where he assumed command 
over all the Polish forces. He summoned the 
people to arms in a manifesto in which he said: 
''The last moment has arrived, in which despair, 
in the midst of shame and reproach, puts arms 
in our hands. Our hope is that scorn of death 
which can alone ameliorate our lot and that of our 

Kosciuszko 's rebellion met with spectacular suc- 
cesses at the beginning. Although his army was 
badly equipped, he defeated the Russians in sev- 
eral engagements. All Poland was ablaze with 
the flame of revolt and rose against its oppressors, 
sweeping them out of the country. Nevertheless, 
it was too much for Poland to overcome the forces 
of three mighty powers. The Prussian army ad- 
vanced and Cracow was taken, opening the road 
into Poland, after a battle in which the Poles were 
outnumbered and defeated. The Prussians then 
advanced toward Warsaw and invested the city, 
but were unable to capture it. Meanwhile Cathe- 
rine had concluded peace with Turkey and ordered 
her general, Suvorov, to make speed with his army 
toward Poland. The Empress was furious at the 
insurgents and resolved, in her own words, ''that 
the time has come, not only to extinguish to the 
last spark the fire that has been lighted in our 


neighborhood, but to prevent any possible re- 
kindling of its ashes." 

On October the 10th, 1794, the Polish and Eus- 
sian armies met, and the fatal battle in the history 
of Poland was fought. Kosciuszko was wounded 
several times and finally taken prisoner. A re- 
mark was attributed to him which he later stoutly 
denied having made. It was the famous ''Finis 
Poloniae!" Poland, indeed, was finished. Suvo- 
rov advanced, took Warsaw and ended the rising, 
with a bloody massacre of the inhabitants of War- 
saw. Thirteen thousand Poles were butchered by 
the Russians, two thousand were drowned. Among 
the valiant defenders of Warsaw was a Jewish 
regiment, which perished to the last man. 

There was much discord among the conquerors 
over the spoils, the Russians claiming the lion's 
share. An agreement was finally reached, in 1795, 
whereby Austria annexed Cracow and a large 
slice of territory; Prussia took Warsaw, with a 
stretch of country as far as the Niemen, and 
Russia got the rest. Thus Poland passed out of 

The hopes of the Poles were raised with the rise 
of Napoleon. His sweep eastward, his conquest 
of Prussia and march into Russia won the sym- 
pathies of the Polish people for him. They ex- 
pected him to liberate and restore their country, 
although he was never explicit on this point. 
Upon his arrival in Warsaw he was greeted with 


unbounded enthusiasm. It was there that he met 
the beautiful Countess Walewska and fell in love 
with her at first sight. She left her husband to 
join Napoleon, and they had a son who afterward 
had quite a distinguished career as a diplomat. 
After defeating the Russians, Napoleon created at 
Tilsit, on July 7th, 1807, the Duchy of Warsaw. 
The Poles were naturally not satisfied with this 
small kingdom and gallantly fought the Austrians, 
regaining Cracow and Western Galicia. Eighty 
thousand Poles supported Napoleon's disastrous 
campaign in Russia in 1812. With the passing 
of Napoleon, the Duchy of Warsaw expired. At 
the Congress of Vienna, 1815, Poland was re- 
distributed among the partitioning powers. The 
city of Cracow was constituted an independent 
little republic, while the purely Polish provinces 
that went to Russia were set up as an autonomous 
kingdom with Alexander I as hereditary ruler. 
Differences developed between Russia and the 
Polish kingdom, which culminated in a r«^volt in 
1830, following the French revolution of that 
year. The Poles put up a valiant fight, but were 
crushed by Nicholas I, and their autonomy was 
abolished. Again in 1848, when the tide of revolu- 
tion rose in Western Europe, Poland became a 
center of rebellion. This time it proved the end 
of the Cracow principality. Then in 1863 a rising 
of large dimensions again broke out in Russian 
Poland. It was suppressed in torrents of blood. 


The hand of Tsarism lay heavy on political Poland. 
The country became a virtual province of the Rus- 
sian Empire, and was subjected to an intense cam- 
paign of Russification. Prussian Poland fared 
even worse, for the German autocracy was more 
efficient, and its campaign of Prussianization 
proved more merciless and deadly. 

However, from 1863 to 1914 Poland, partitioned 
among the three empires, prospered economically. 
Especially was this prosperity marked in Russian 
Poland, where commerce and industry reached 
enormous proportions. The Polish provinces be- 
came the most progressive section of Russia in 
education, in manufacture, in trade, and in the 
development of natural resources. In spite of 
all the efforts of the Tsar 's government to Russify 
Poland, the Poles retained their national con- 
sciousness and cohesion, and Poland seethed with 
nationalistic movements. Its literature, poetry, 
music blossomed luxuriantly. Poland became a 
great center of modern civilization. 

Then came the Great War. On the fields of 
Poland immense armies swayed back and forth, 
killing, pillaging, devastating. These armies had 
hundreds of thousands of Poles on the side of 
Russia opposed to hundreds of thousands of Poles 
in the ranks of the Austro-German forces. For 
Poland, therefore, it was a terrible experience. 
But even more terrible was the ruin wrought in 
its fair cities and villages. According to some 


estimates, three hundred towns, twenty thousand 
villages, two thousand churches were razed to 
the ground. Millions were set adrift, wandering 
eastward back of the Russian armies. Billions 
of dollars in property were destroyed. 

Politically, Poland was torn in two. The work- 
ing classes, generally speaking, favored the Cen- 
tral Powers, being actuated by deep hatred for 
Tsarism. The upper classes favored an under- 
standing with Russia. As soon as the war broke 
out the former rallied around Joseph Pilsudski, 
a Russian Polish revolutionary leader, who led 
a Polish Legion organized in Galicia against the 
Russian army. But the Russians were at first vic- 
torious. In the fall of 1914 Grand Duke Nicholas 
issued his celebrated manifesto, promising auton- 
omy to a re-united Poland. Although the Rus- 
sian conduct in the occupied Polish territory was 
not of a nature to encourage Polish national 
optimism, the Grand Duke's proclamation had a 
profound effect. However, Hindenburg's great 
victory over the Russian armies in 1915 placed all 
of Poland in the hands of the Central Powers. 
After more than a year of hesitation Austria and 
Germany declared, on November 5, 1916, Polish 
"independence." The Central Powers wanted 
Pilsudski to raise an army to cooperate with them, 
but the Polish radical and his party would not 
agree to do it unless guaranteed a strictly Polish 
national government for the country. 


The Russian Revolution of 1917 brought Poland 
near to Russia. The Petrograd Provisional Gov- 
ernment addressed the following words to the 
Poles : ''The Russian nation, which has shaken off 
its yoke, recognizes also the absolute right of the 
brother nation of Poland to decide its own fate 
by the exercise of its own will, . . . The Polish 
nation, liberated and unified, will settle for itself 
the nature of its own government, expressing its 
will by means of a Constituent Assembly, convoked 
on the basis of universal suffrage in the capital of 
Poland. ' ' This proclamation made the Poles anti- 
Teutonic. Deep differences developed between 
the Central Powers and the Warsaw Regency 
Council, and ended in the arrest of the once Aus- 
trophile General Pilsudski and his imprisonment 
in Germany. 

Meanwhile a Polish National Committee was set 
up in Paris by leading exiles, representing the 
tendencies of the Polish upper classes, especially 
the nobility. The chief figures in this committee 
were I. J. Paderewski, the famous pianist, and R. 
Dmowski, formerly the head of the Polish dele- 
gation in the Russian Duma. A Polish army was 
organized in Prance, under General Haller, to co- 
operate with the Allies, and France, England, 
Italy and the United States recognized it in 1918 
as a co-belligerent force. Thousands of American 
Poles voluntarily joined the army of General 


When Austria-Hungary collapsed a Polish gov- 
ernment sprang up in Galicia under the presidency 
of the Socialist Daszynski, but he handed over his 
authority to Pilsudski upon the surrender of Ger- 
many and his release from prison. The Germans 
were then expelled from Poland and the Poles 
proceeded to consolidate their liberated country. 
It was while doing so that the Poles came in con- 
flict with their neighbors, at a time when peace at 
home was not yet established. The arrival of 
Paderewski in Poland in the last days of 1918 
caused a crisis between the conservative and radi- 
cal elements in the country. The foimer even 
made an effort to overthrow Pilsudski 's govern- 
ment, but failed. 

The solution of the Polish international problem 
has not been worked out yet on an equitable basis 
even theoretically. Polish national aspirations, it 
must be frankly acknowledged, are annexationist. 
While the elements represented by R. Dmowski 
aim at the creation of a centralized Polish empire 
numbering between 35,000,000 and 40,000,000 in- 
habitants, nearly half of whom would be non- 
Polish, the radical patriotic elements, considerably 
less avaricious, still lay claim to Lithuania, as if 
the latter were not a distinct nationality with 
rights of its own. In order to solve the Polish 
problem it is necessary to settle Poland's disputes 
with Lithuania, Russia, Ukraine, Czecho-Slovakia, 
Germany, and the Jews. Had the Poles been will- 


ing to leave all these settlements to the Peace Con- 
ference, a great deal of racial and national enmity- 
would have been averted. There is only one way 
to solve the Polish territorial problem justly, and 
that is to find an ethnographic solution, and not 
an historical one. The entire civilized world rec- 
ognizes Poland's indisputable right to sovereign 
national existence, as well as the crime committed 
by Russia, Austria and Prussia in partitioning 
Poland. And yet the restoration of Poland as 
it existed in 1772, before the first partition, would 
be a monstrosity. Poland was then a conglomer- 
ate state, a huge empire, but not a nation. Within 
its borders were then large sections of Great Rus- 
sian, White Russian, Little Russian, Lithuanian, 
Latvian (Lettish), and German territory. 

To recreate that empire would be equivalent to 
the restoration of the disrupted Dual Monarchy. 
And yet there are Polish leaders who go nearly as 
far as advocating such a *' solution" of their 
national problem. What will have happened 
if they actually take over the control of Poland 
can be imagined from what really did happen 
under the dictatorship of the radical Pilsudski. 
Within a few days after his rise to power the 
Poles were fighting with the Lithuanians, White 
Russians, Ukrainians, Jews, and Germans. Pil- 
sudski 's government publicly claimed Vilna, the 
capital of Lithuania, and some districts of White 
Russia. The Lithuanians and White Russians 


called upon the Bolsheviki of Russia to support 
them against the aggression of Poland. In Gali- 
cia bloody warfare occurred between the Ukrain- 
ians and the Poles, mainly over Lemberg and Prze- 
mysl, in which the Jews suffered greatly. In the 
west, a Polish force, after occupying Posen, which 
rightfully belongs to Poland, spread out in every 
direction, toward Breslau, Silesia; Berlin, the cap- 
ital of Germany ; and Danzig, the great Baltic port. 
Now Danzig and its immediate vicinity are Ger- 
man ethnographically. To the west of Danzig a 
strip of territory about twenty-five miles wide, 
inhabited by a majority of Poles, connects the Bal- 
tic with the bulk of Poland. However, it is gener- 
ally agreed that Poland ought to have access to 
the sea, that the port of Danzig ought to be made 
available to the Poles, which could be done by mak- 
ing it a free port, but the Polish government was 
not satisfied to leave the settlement of the prob- 
lem to the Peace Conference and proceeded to 
seize the city by force. 

In the case of Poland, then, the diflSculties lie 
mainly in the strength of the national spirit of 
the Polish people. Poland must be re-united. Po- 
land must be independent. These two demands 
have the approval of civilized mankind. But how 
are you going to curb the annexationist tendencies 
of Polish nationalism 1 This nationalism must be 
reconciled, to insure peace, with the legitimate 
claims of the Lithuanians, Russians, Ukrainians, 


Germans, and Jews. The last present an inter- 
nal question, but a sore one. There will be about 
three million Jews in the new Poland. The rela- 
tions between the Jews and the Poles in the past 
decade have been very strained. The Poles, led by 
anti-Semites like Dmowski, had organized an eco- 
nomic boycott of the Jews which resulted in great 
suffering to them. An even more important re- 
sult was the awakening in the Polish Jews of ex- 
treme nationalistic tendencies, which widened the 
chasm betwen them and the Poles. To satisfy 
all the demands of the Polish Jews would be an 
infringement of Polish rights, it must be admitted. 
But that the Jews in Poland should enjoy full re- 
ligious, political, cultural and economic freedom, 
such as they are enjoying in the United States of 
America, for instance, seems but elementary jus- 
tice. This was recognized by the government of 
Pilsudski, which announced its intention to solve 
the Polish-Jewish problem on such a basis. 

There can be no just and definite solution of 
Poland's boundary questions unless it rests on 
purely ethnographic lines. More than in any other 
case, Polish historical claims are pregnant with 
international disputes. Poland must be re-united, 
free and independent, with access to the sea, but 
must include only genuinely Polish lands. 



There is a widespread impression that the Lith- 
uanians are a Slavic race. This is not true. The 
Lithuanians, together with the Letts and the ex- 
tinct Old Prussians, formed a distinct branch of 
the Indo-European family. They occupied the 
southeastern coast of the Baltic Sea early in the 
history of Europe and inhabited the basin of the 
River Niemen and the territory lying between the 
Vistula and the Dwina a thousand years ago. The 
country that later became known as Lithuania was 
a thickly-forested, marshy, inaccessible land, the 
dwellers of which preserved their primitive life 
longer than their neighbors. Their fighting quali- 
ties made them the masters of a large stretch of 
territory, extending at one time as far north as 
the Gulf of Finland. They remained pagans even 
after the neighboring races had adopted Christian- 

With the rise of strong nations in the east and 
west of their country, the Lithuanians were put on 
the defensive, fiercely fighting the Russians and 
the Poles. The latter fouud the Lithuanians and 



their kindred races so troublesome that they in- 
vited the Teutonic Knights to enter the Baltic lit- 
toral, ostensibly to spread Christianity, but really 
to combat the savage inhabitants of the region. 
It was this movement that turned part of the Bal- 
tic littoral into German territory known to us now 
as East and West Prussia. 

The Lithuanians were able to withstand the 
onslaughts of the Teutonic Knights, although 
parts of their territory were overrun and occu- 
pied by the invaders. The Lithuanians to-day 
claim those parts of Prussia under the name of 
Lithuania Minor as properly belonging to them, 
insisting that the inhabitants had never been Ger- 
manized during the centuries that they formed 
part of Prussia. Because of their paganism, the 
light-haired, blue-eyed, massive, warlike inhabi- 
tants of the valley of the Niemen were subjected 
to efforts at Christianization by the Greek Ortho- 
dox Russians and the Roman Catholic Poles. It 
was the Lithuanian resistance that finally gave 
birth to a united Lithuanian state. The pressure 
of the Christians was too great, especially after 
the Lithuanian cousins, the Letts, had been con- 
verted to Christianity and organized into the Li- 
vonian Order, which pushed onward in its cam- 
paign to spread Christianity. The Lithuanians 
were surrounded by aggressive Christian forces, 
which included adventurous crusaders from all 
over Europe. The Lithuanian ruler of the period. 


Mindaugas, resolved to submit to Rome and be 
baptized, which ceremony took place in 1250. Pope 
Innocent IV was so pleased that he rewarded the 
Lithuanian chief with a crown, making Mindau- 
gas the first king of Lithuania. 

With the adoption of Christianity the Lithuan- 
ian king expected to regain his former possessions 
and consolidate his state. However, he encoun- 
tered the opposition of the Christian Orders and 
found it expedient to recant in order to lead an 
uprising of all the Lithuanian tribes against the 
Livonian Order. The rising was successful, al- 
though Mindaugas was killed three years after he 
recanted, in 1260. He was followed by a series of 
Lithuanian rulers, of whom the most renowned 
was Gedeminas, 1316-1341, the first ruler to es- 
tablish a system of government in Lithuania. He 
extended his dominions over many principalities 
to the east and south, so that in the fourteenth cen- 
tury Lithuania included practically all of White 
Russia, a portion of Great Russia and a consider- 
able section of Little Russia, or Ukraine. Gede- 
minas concluded a treaty with Poland in 1325, 
forming a military alliance against the Livonian 
Order, as well as the foundation for the later 
union of Lithuania and Poland. 

Lithuania embraced Christianity in 1386 as the 
result of the marriage of its ruler Jagello to the 
queen of Poland, Jadwiga. The Lithuanian ruler 
thus became the king of Poland, It is from this 


year that the controversy over the Polish-Lithuan- 
ian union dates. According to the Poles, the mar- 
riage constituted the virtual fusion of Lithuania 
and Poland into one sovereign state. According 
to the Lithuanians, the marriage of Jagello re- 
moved him from Lithuanian life, and their coun- 
try continued to exist as an independent entity. 
It would appear that the union was in fact but 
nominal, as the Lithuanians elected a successor 
to Jagello, an able leader, named Vitautas. Hence- 
forth Poland and Lithuania fought conjointly the 
Teutonic Order, and in 1410, at Griinwald, the 
two allies decisively defeated the Teutons and 
stopped their spread eastward. In the fifteenth 
century Lithuania reached its greatest territorial 
limits, stretching from the Baltic Sea in the north 
to the Black Sea in the south. 

Up to 1569 the relations between Lithuania and 
Poland remained unchanged. The Poles contin- 
ued to elect as their kings the descendants of Ja- 
gello who ruled over Lithuania. In that year, dur- 
ing the reign of Sigismond Augustus, an assembly 
was convoked in Lublin, which resulted in the 
fusion of the two states. ''Here over the protests 
of a large number of the Lithuanian delegates," 
writes a Lithuanian publicist, "the Lublin Union 
was formed under which Lithuania and Poland 
were welded together into one so-called republic, 
ruled by the privileged nobility. Both states were 
presided over by one head and were permitted but 


one senate and one 'Sejm' (the Lower House), 
wiiicli convened alternately first in one, then in 
the other country. A single coat of arms was 
adopted, with the insignia of both countries incor- 
porated in the seal. The customs duties between 
the two nations were entirely abolished. In the 
face of all this, however, Lithuania persisted in 
maintaining her own army, her own fiscal and ju- 
dicial system, and certain of her administrative 
officers, such as Marshal, Chancellor, a Hetman 
and others." 

Lithuania remained a part of Poland till the 
dismemberment of the latter. It is this that gives 
ground for the Polish argument that the restora- 
tion of Poland entails the incorporation in it of 
Lithuania. Had the Lithuanians been assimilated 
by the Poles during the centuries that they be- 
longed to Poland, the present Polish claim to Lith- 
uania might be justified. However, such is not the 
case. The Lithuanians display a vigorous national 
consciousness, and deny that they had ever been 
Polonized. Polish penetration into Lithuania 
never went further than a spiritual union between 
the nobility of the two countries. The Lithuanian 
peasantry never came under the influence of the 
Poles and preserved their own language, tradi- 
tions and even many of their ancient heathen 
practices and ceremonies. 

In the first partition of Poland, 1772, Russia's 
share was really a perfectly legitimate one. Rus- 


sia took away from Poland provinces that were in- 
corporated in Lithuania before it had joined Po- 
land, but which were really Russian. It is both 
curious and significant that even at the second 
partition, 1793, in which Germany and Austria 
came in possession of genuinely Polish lands, Rus- 
sia's share was still legitimate as the territories 
which Russia then detached from Poland were not 
Polish, not Lithuanian, strictly speaking, but 
White Russian. A Lithuanian writes that at the 
second partition Russia received so-called Russian 
Lithuania, and the Lithuanians were left only Lith- 
uania proper. Thus the ethnographical borders 
of Lithuania were thereby defined by the Rus- 
sians themselves. At the third partition in 1795 
Russia took all that remained of Lithuania, with 
the exception of the province of Suvalki, which 
went to Prussia, and later was added by Napoleon 
to the Duchy of Warsaw. The Congress of Vienna 
ceded this province to Russia, with the Kingdom 
of Poland. 

What would have happened to Lithuania had 
she not joined Poland in the sixteenth century will 
always remain a subject for speculation. Some 
Lithuanians beheve that the union with Poland 
brought about Lithuania's ruin. According to 
them, Lithuania degenerated when united with 
Poland. "The state was dissolved, the upper 
classes became separated from the common peo- 
ple, who still remained faithful to their language, 


though they were without schools, without any 
rights, and were oppressed by the degrading sys- 
tem of serfdom. Lithuania, during this period, 
made no progress in literature, political economy, 
or business, but rather degenerated in these 
branches of activity. ' ' 

It is hardly conceivable that an independent 
Lithuania would have emerged and existed in mod- 
ern times with powerful, aggressive Russia sur- 
rounding it. It is probable, though, that Lithu- 
ania, swallowed up by Russia, would still have 
remained a strongly individual national body, even 
as Poland was in all the years that it formed part 
of the Russian Empire. In fact it was the Rus- 
sian oppression that stimulated the development 
of the national consciousness in all the subject 
races of the Empire. The Lithuanians were 
treated in the traditional manner. A campaign of 
Russification was inaugurated in their land, abol- 
ishing every vestige of Lithuanian autonomy and 
national life. The Universiay of Vilna, the capi- 
tal of Lithuania, and many other schools, were 
closed in 1832. In 1864 all the Lithuanian native 
publications were suppressed and the Russian lan- 
guage was imposed upon them. The Lithuanians 
were also persecuted on account of their Roman 
Catholic faith. Finally, the Russians went as far 
as colonizing Lithuanian lands with Russians, who 
were encouraged and financially helped to settle 
in Lithuania. 


The persecutions resulted iu a large emigration. 
About three hundred thousand Lithuanians emi- 
grated into the interior of Russia and into Poland 
and the neighboring provinces. Gradually the 
stream of emigration grew in size, passing through 
England and Scotland, extending as far as South 
Africa, New Zealand, Argentina, Canada and the 
United States. There are nearly eighty thousand 
Lithuanians in Chicago alone. If the Lithuanian 
claim to Kosciusko, who was a native of Lithu- 
ania, be upheld, the Lithuanians would have rea- 
son to be proud of their contribution to the mak- 
ing of the United States. At present there are 
nearly three-quarters of a million Lithuanians in 
the United States. 

The Lithuanian national consciousness finds its 
expression in the Lithuanian literature and cul- 
ture, as well as the movement for independence. 
Lithuanian writers first appear in the sixteenth 
century. Between 1547 and 1701 fifty-nine Lithu- 
anian books were published. The translator of the 
Bible, the Reverend Dauksa, a famous preacher, 
was also a Lithuanian nationalist. "To take the 
language from a nation is equivalent," he said, 
'Ho taking the sun from the heavens, to destroy- 
ing world-order, to snuffing out the life and the 
honor of a nation." In the eighteenth century 
Lithuanian poetry reached a high standard, when 
the remarkable pastoral poem by Christian Don- 
elaitis, ''The Joys of Spring," was written. It 


was rendered into German under the name of 
' ' The Four Seasons ' ' and into Russian by the Im- 
perial Academy and also by two modern poets. 
After 1864 the Lithuanians were forbidden to print 
even a prayer-book in their own language and in 
the Latin characters. It was therefore in foreign 
lands that the Lithuanian national press was born. 
In 1883 a Lithuanian periodical was established 
at Tilsit, Prussia, which clearly set forth the ideas 
of Lithuanian nationalism, independent of Poland 
and its culture. Since then the Lithuanian na- 
tional movement gained in intensity at such a rapid 
pace, that in 1905 the Lithuanians were among the 
first to lead in the Russian revolution of that year. 
With the freedom then gained by the Russian peo- 
ple, the Lithuanians were allowed to use their 
own language. In Vilna alone a dozen periodicals 
sprang up in a decade. Altogether there were 
about seventy publications appearing in Lithua- 
nian all over the world. A Russian professor 
wrote a quarter of a century ago of the Lithuanian 
national movement: "Young Lithuania has suc- 
ceeded, first, in developing a new spelling and 
literary language for the Lithuanian people, sec- 
ondly, it has satisfactorily explained the close eth- 
nographic relationship existing between the Letts 
and the Lithuanians and has pointed out the abso- 
lute divergence of the interests of the Lithuanian 
intellectuals from those of the Poles. . . . The 
Poles may say what they please, but the fact re- 


mains that the Lithuanians inhabiting the Lithua- 
nian territory not only continue to speak their 
own native tongue, but have also been successful 
in preserving their ancient customs and traits. ' ' 

In the revolutionary year of 1905 the Lithua- 
nians called a national assembly, which met in Vil- 
na. Two thousand delegates, representing every 
section and class, came to the Congress. Some 
of the envoys were said to have been unable to 
speak their native tongue, but insisted that they 
were of Lithuanian blood. The Lithuanian repre- 
sentatives in the Duma were always on guard to 
defend their national rights, claiming autonomy 
and demanding the separation of the province of 
Suvalki from the Kingdom of Poland. Both the 
Poles and the Eussians were hostile to the Lithua- 
nian movement, which constantly gained strength 
from the support given to it by the Lithuanian col- 
onists abroad, notably in the United States and 
Great Britain. 

The Great War caused immense suffering in 
Lithuania, where the contending hosts fought long 
and stubbornly. But it also gave an added im- 
petus to Lithuanian nationalism. In an appeal 
made to their brethren in America, the Lithuanian 
leaders said early in the war: ''Strenuous and 
telling times are here. We must emerge free, or 
die fighting for freedom. Lithuanians have vital- 
ity and strength enough to be equals of all other 
free nations. We must win the right to mould our 


own destiny and our own future. Now is the time 
to take our faith in our hands — now, or never ! ' ' 

After Grand Duke Nicholas, the Conunander-in- 
Chief of the Russian Army, issued his manifesto 
to the Poles toward the end of 1914, promising 
restoration of their country, the Lithuanian politi- 
cal committee of Vilna issued the following state- 

"Lithuania is a separate unit historically, cul- 
turally, and economically. 

"Lithuania will defend herself to the bitter end 
against every attempt of the Poles to spread Pol- 
ish propaganda in Lithuania under the pretext of 
the historical union of the two countries. 

"Because certain Poles deliberately and fraud- 
ulently misrepresent the identity of Poles and 
Lithuanians, it becomes indispensable for the na- 
tional life of Lithuania to combat such political 
methods of the Poles and to disclose to the world 
the actual relations as they exist between the Poles 
and the Lithuanians. 

"It is essential to struggle for the unification of 
Lithuania, i. e. for the union of the government of 
Suvaiki and of Lithuania Minor to Lithuania and 
it is vital to obtain the right of political self-deter- 
mination for the Lithuanians." 

In the course of the World War several Lithua- 
nian conventions and conferences met in foreign 
countries, in Stockliolm, in Berne, Lausanne, and 
in the United States. They all set forth umnis- 


takably the principles of Lithuanian nationalism. 
In Eussia, after some secret meetings, the Lithua- 
nian National Council, representing all the parties 
of the country, was formed, dedicated to the at- 
tainment of independence for the Lithuanian na- 
tionality. The Russian Revolution naturally gave 
a tremendous impetus to the Lithuanian move- 
ment. The Lithuanian National Council adopted a 
declaration in which it stated that "Lithuania is a 
separate ethnographical, cultural, economic, and 
political unit, and as regards numbers and eco- 
nomic considerations, the Lithuanians constitute 
the basic element of Lithuania's inhabitants." 

However, all the Lithuanian manifestos were in- 
effective, for the simple reason that practically all 
Lithuania was occupied by the German armies. 
The Lithuanians exerted all their efforts in influ- 
encing Russian public opinion in their favor, but 
the Provisional Government of Russia was slow 
to recognize Lithuania's claims, favoring an ar- 
rangement with Poland whereby the latter would 
include Lithuania, so as to lay the basis for a Rus- 
sian-Polish union. In October, 1917, there met in 
Kiev a congress of twenty-two minor Russian na- 
tionalities. This convention passed on the claims 
of all the subject races of Russia. It adopted a 
series of resolutions, one of which was on the 
Lithuanian question, demanding that: 

"The Provisional Government of Russia issue 
a proclamation recognizing the right of Lithuania 


to form a sovereign state of Lithuania out of the 
Russian and Prussian Lithuanian territories and 
of the Lithuanian districts of the Government of 
Suvalki, in conformity with the principle of self- 

Ethnographically, the Lithuanian problem is not 
easy of solution. Fortunately the Lithuanians do 
not demand the restoration of their country as 
it existed at the height of its career as a state. 
''The platform of every active political party in 
Lithuania contains the demand for the right of 
self-determination within the whole of ethno- 
graphic Lithuania. All these parties realize only 
too well that it would be both fatal and wrong to 
desire the reestablishment of historic Lithuania 
which extended over a vast expense inhabited by 
many other races. Nor would any of them lay the 
slightest claim to lands which were genuinely 
Lithuanian in times remote, but whose inhabitants 
subsequently suffered complete transformation as, 
for instance, Western Prussia, where the popula- 
tion has ceased being Lithuanian altogether in 
speech, in custom and in spirit." Thus reads a 
Lithuanian statement. 

By a secret agreement concluded between Rus- 
sia and the Allies and made public by the Bolshe- 
vist government, Russia was to annex as a result 
of the war German Lithuania Minor. Had that 
treaty been carried out, all Lithuania would have 
been reunited under Russian protection. Lithua- 


nia Minor has a population of about half a mil- 
lion. Russian Lithuania, or Lithuania Major, 
comprising the government of Kovno, the larger 
parts of the governments of Vilna and Suval- 
ki, and sections of the governments of Grod- 
no and Minsk, has a population of nearly five mil- 
lion. An independent Lithuanian state would thus 
have a population of five million, more than Ser- 
bia or Bulgaria before the war, almost as populous 
as Denmark and Norway put together, or nearly 
equal to either Sweden or Portugal. 

There is a movement in Lithuania for a union 
with the Letts. Should such an alliance be con- 
summated the united state would contain a 
population of more than seven million. Given a 
chance there is no reason why the Lithuanians 
should not prosper and develop economically and 
culturally. Their land is fertile and abundant with 
forests. Germany exploited Lithuania to an enor- 
mous extent. By the way of the Niemen River 
alone she imported from Lithuania about three 
hundred million cubic feet of wood. Russia did 
not seek to develop Lithuania's resources. If any- 
thing, she hampered such a development. And yet 
the Lithuanian people are capable of producing a 
high state of civilization. To insure such an out- 
come, it is but necessary to allow Lithuania free 
and autonomous development and start it on the 
road to progress. 



The Letts are of the same origin as the Old 
Prussians, who no longer retain their racial char- 
acteristics, having been absorbed by the Teuton 
invaders, and the Lithuanians. Lettonia, or Li- 
vonia, or Latvia, the homeland of the Letts, lies 
immediately to the north of Lithuania, on the Bal- 
tic littoral, about equally divided by the Dwina 
River. North of Lettonia lies Esthonia. To the 
east of it is Russia. Of the three Baltic provinces 
of the Russian empire, Courland, Livonia or Liv- 
land, and Esthonia, the first and the greater part 
of the second are inhabited by the Letts and com- 
prise Lettonia. 

The Letts number about 2,000,000. They have 
lived in their land since time immemorial and are 
the only rightful masters of it. The Letts are not 
of Slavonic origin, neither are they related to 
the Mongolian Finns, dwelling to the north of 
them. They are, together with the Lithuanians, 
the only survivors of a distinct branch of the Indo- 
European family. They speak a language closely 
related to the Lithuanian. But they are separated 



from the latter by religion, being Lutherans, while 
the Lithuanians are Eoman Catholics. 

It was the Germans who brought Christianity 
into Lettonia, and in doing so subjugated the Letts. 
The first Germans to come into the country were 
traders from Liibeck. They were followed by mis- 
sionaries of Christianity who founded the town of 
Eiga in 1201 and organized a military body, the 
Livonian Order, to Christianize the Letts. There 
were not many of these Germans, but they con- 
quered the land and settled on it as rulers, even- 
tually assuming baronial titles. During the Kef- 
ormation they embraced Lutheranism, communi- 
cating it to the Letts. 

When the Livonian Order was dissolved and 
Sweden gained control of the Baltic region, the 
oppressed population received some freedom and 
education. During the reign of Gustavus Vasa, 
King of Sweden, in the first part of the sixteenth 
century, many schools were established in Let- 
tonia. The benevolent rule of the Swedes did not, 
however, carry with it the overthrow of the im- 
mediate overlords, the Teutonic nobles, who were 
thoroughly hated by the Lettish peasantry. When 
Charles XII was defeated at Poltava in 1709, the 
Baltic lands came under the aegis of Peter the 
Great and became part of the Eussian Empire. 

It was from the ranks of the Teutonic nobihty 
in the Baltic provinces that autocratic Eussia re- 
cruited in the past two centuries many of its lead- 


ing statesmen, administrators and reactionary 
governors. Up to the outbreak of the Great War 
these Baltic Junkers were intimately identified 
with all that was sinister in Tsardom, maintain- 
ing only remote relations with their German 
cousins. Perhaps in all the breadth and width of 
Russia there was not another region where the 
hand of the landlords lay heavier on the peasants. 
The Teuton nobles barred even the slightest re- 
forms introduced by Russia. In the early days of 
the reign of Alexander I an attempt was made by 
the then liberal Russian government to relieve the 
lot of the Lettish serf, but it was thwarted by the 
German masters, who were greatly helped by the 
corrupt clergy. 

About the middle of the nineteenth century the 
Lettish peasants began to show signs of rebellion. 
Several times they revolted against their oppres- 
sors, but were suppressed by Russian troops. 
With the abolition of serfdom in Russia in 1861 
there occurred nothing in Lettonia to improve the 
condition of the peasant. He was free, but he 
was landless, practically the entire country was 
owned by the small group of barons. The Letts 
were thus dependent upon their foreign masters 
for a living. There was little change in the agra- 
rian situation in Lettonia in the period that 
elapsed between 1861 and 1917. More than two- 
thirds of Lettish lands are in the hands of the 
German nobility even now, although the nobles 


comprise only four and a half per cent, of the 
population. They maintained their feudal grip 
in spite of the growth of civilization, the expan- 
sion of commerce, the development of cities, the 
rise of a large middle-class in Lettonia during the 
past half century. 

In Courland two-fifths of all private lands are 
owned by 25 barons' families. Some of these es- 
tates are larger than the state of New Jersey or 
Massachusetts. There are families that own 
about a quarter of a million of acres. In Livonia 
conditions are even worse. Sixty-five per cent, of 
all the land there is owned by 740 estates. There 
is one landowner, Count von Wolf, who owns half 
a million acres ! There are only about 50,000 small 
farms in Lettonia. ''All farmers depend entirely 
on the landlords," writes J. Klawa. "Woods, 
waters, the rights of hunting and fishing (on the 
farmer's own land, no matter if it is paid for), are 
privileges of the barons only. The establishment 
of industries in the country and commerce are the 
rights of the barons. But that is not all. The 
farmers are obliged to bear all burdens of the com- 
monwealth, such as repairing the roads, keeping 
up the schools, paying the wages of school-teach- 
ers, etc. The barons pay nothing." 

Lettonia took a most prominent part in the Eus- 
sian Revolution in 1905. Because of the cruel con- 
dition of the masses, the outbreak was more sweep- 
ing there than in the rest of the empire. It was a 


rising, not only against Tsarism, but mainly 
against the Teuton barons. For a while the peo- 
ple were on top. The foreign masters that had 
dominated them for seven centuries were driven 
out of the country. But they soon returned with 
a Russian force, commanded by General Orlov, 
one of the most execrable hangmen of the Tsar. 
There followed a frightful series of massacres, 
executions and devastating deeds, unparalleled 
even in Russia during that period of repression. 
There were thousands of executions, many more 
thousands of arrests and banishments to Siberia. 
Hundreds of peasants' homes were burned. 

During the World War Lettonia suffered ter- 
ribly, being in the path of the great contending 
armies. With the permission of the Duma in 
July, 1915, the Letts organized and equipped a 
legion of their own and in the autumn of that year 
they took the tield to defend their native land. On 
the other hand, the German barons welcomed the 
Prussian invaders. Many thousands of the inhabi- 
tants left their homes and moved eastward, fear- 
ing subjection by the Germans. When the Revolu- 
tion broke out in March, 1917, it quickly rever- 
berated in Lettonia. The Letts were ardent revo- 
lutionists and they were spiritually united with 
the Russian democracy. They proceeded to or- 
ganize an autonomous government in those parts 
of their country that were unoccupied by the Prus- 
sian army. Around the Lettish legion rallied many 


Letts that served in Russian regiments and the 
Lettish force became one of the bulwarks of the 
Russian Revolution. During Kereinsky's fight 
against General Kornilov, the Lettish legions 
played a very important part in suppressing the 
rebel general. The same contingents went over 
to the Bolsheviki after the fall of Kerensky, and 
remained one of the mainstays of their rule. 

In May, 1917, a congress of the Lettish socialist 
party, the chief political organization among the 
Letts, resolved that Lettonia should become an 
autonomous part of a federated Russia. When 
Russia concluded a separate peace at Brest- 
Litovsk with the Central Powers, Germany, insti- 
gated by the Teutonic barons, claimed the greater 
part of Lettonia, to be set up under her protection, 
and she got it. The Letts were to be divided 
among Germany, Russia and perhaps Poland and 
Lithuania. The various Lettish parties then 
united and formed a national council, which issued 
the following remarkably vigorous proclamation, 
setting forth Lettonia 's claims and rights : 

"The Lettish nation, trusting in the victory of 
human justice and right, has paid a heavy sacri- 
fice in blood and treasure in its tenacious struggle 
against German attempts at the conquest and en- 
slavement of nations. Notwithstanding all this, 
the enemy troops succeeded, in February, 1918, in 
occupying the whole of Latvia (Lettonia). Her 
virile economic progress has been ruthlessly im- 


peded, her vigorous intellectual life interrupted, 
and her productive farms and rich cities laid waste 
by fire. 

' ' About 70 per cent, of the inhabitants of Latvia 
have left their homes either voluntarily or under 
compulsion, and they are now, for the most part, 
living in the vastnesses of Russia as refugees. Of 
the 800,000 inhabitants of Courland alone only 
210,000 are still in territory temporarily in Ger- 
man occupation, and of the 550,000 inhabitants of 
Riga only 200,000 remain under the German yoke. 

"The Brest-Litovsk Peace Treaty dealt a still 
heavier blow to Latvia. In accordance with this 
so-called peace treaty, Courland and Riga, to- 
gether with its district, have been constituted Ger- 
man protectorates ; the remaining parts of Livonia 
inhabited by Letts — that is, the districts of Wen- 
den, Wolmar and Walk — are to be subject to Ger- 
man occupation until peace and order are restored 
in agreement with the wishes of the local popula- 
tion, whilst the Lettish province of Patgale has 
been separated from those cited above. Thus, the 
Lettish countries, peopled by one nation and pos- 
sessing a common civilization and similar political 
and economic aims, are split up into three separate 
parts, between two different States, and are sub- 
jected to two totally different political regimes. 
The Brest-Litovsk Peace Treaty is an outrageous 
act of violence which directly threatens and aims 
at threatening the national, political and economic 



existence oi" Latvia, and is one of the greatest 
crimes against civilization. Further, it is in direct 
contradiction to the principles of democracy and 
the right of self-determination as proclaimed by 
Germany herself before the conclusion of the 

*' Latvia has no political or national aims, no 
economic or cultural interests in common with 
Germany. Belying solely on their present mili- 
tary strength, the occupying authorities are doing 
everything in their power to impose upon Latvia 
German imperialism and militarism, and Latvia 
is already threatened with the fate of Posen and 
Alsace-Lorraine. Neither the Letts who have re- 
mained at home nor those who have returned to 
their country, or are still war refugees in chaotic 
Eussia, have the slightest desire for annexation of 
Latvia by Germany. 

''With the object of giving to their acts of vio- 
lence an appearance of legality and morality the 
German authorities immediately set about the cre- 
ation of the so-called Landesrats for each of these 
provinces of Latvia. Their members consist of 
chairmen of rural district councils and mayors ap- 
pointed by the Germans, and of representatives of 
the German nobility. These bodies lay claim truly 
to represent and speak on behalf of Lettish politi- 
cal aspirations when making their decisions. The 
Landesrats are usurping the rights of the inhabi- 
tants of Latvia and speak solely in their own 


names when they favor the annexation of Latvia 
to Germany. The Landesrats created by the oc- 
cupational authorities have neither moral nor legal 
right to speak of or to decide questions concern- 
ing Latvia in the name of the Lettish nation. The 
Letts foi*m eighty per cent, of the inhabitants of 
Latvia as compared with seven per cent, of Ger- 
mans, and yet the Letts have a very small number 
of representatives in the Landesrats, fully two- 
thirds of the members of which are of German 
nationality, and of this two- thirds majority by 
far the greater number belong to the German no- 
bility, which is also the landed proprietor class. 
As an instance of the respect which the Landes- 
rats of the German nobility pay to Latvia's inter- 
ests and aspirations may be cited their resolution 
to hand over Courland with all her treasure, and 
after all the sacrifices and blood of her sons, to 
the uses of German imperialism, while an instance 
of what understanding they have of the needs of 
the toiling people is afforded by a speech made in 
Berlin by the Reverend Bernewitz, a member of 
the Courland Landesrat and Superintendent of the 
Church of Courland, who stated that the soil of 
Courland was crying out for German colonists. 
At the present time 70 per cent, of Latvia's rural 
population are deprived of their own holdings for 
which they have long been, and are still, strug- 

' ' On 8 March, 1918, the Landesrat of Courland 


resolved to re-establish the Duchy of Courland 
and offered her crown to the Hohenzollem 
dynasty. On 12 April the representatives of Riga, 
together with the united Landesrats of Livonia, 
Esthonia and the Island of Oesel, resolved to 
create a Baltic monarchy, and again, in this in- 
stance, her crown was offered to the German Em- 
peror, who, in his capacity of King of Prussia, was 
to create a personal union between the kingdom 
of Prussia and the Baltic State. The German Gov- 
ernment has now issued orders for a military and 
economic convention to be concluded between Ger- 
many and the Duchy of Courland. 

''The geographical position of Latvia on the 
shores of the Baltic renders the question of Latvia 
one of international importance. It has not been 
solved by the Brest-Litovsk Peace Treaty, and it 
cannot be solved by the Landesrats set up by the 
German authorities. It will have to be solved in 
conjunction with the Lettish nation and in ac- 
cordance with the interests of present-day civiliza- 
tion at the General Peace Conference. 

''On 4 April the Lettish National Council, which 
unites all the Lettish political parties, central com- 
munal institutions and public organizations, with 
the exception of the extreme Bolsheviks and a 
handful of Germanophile monarchists, addressed 
an energetic protest to the German Imperial 
Chancellor, Count Hertling. A similar protest 
was sent to Count Hertling and to the Commander 


of the 8th German Army by the Provincial Council 
of Livonia, but so far the German Government has 
chosen to maintain silence with regard to the mat- 

**A11 Lettish political parties without exception 
are united in the irreducible demand for the in- 
tegrity and indivisibility of the territories of Lat- 
via. At this fateful moment the Lettish National 
Council considers it to be its sacred duty to ad- 
dress to all nations and their governments its 
energetic protest against any attempt to partition 
Latvia's territories and against all the forgeries 
committed by the Landesrats. Simultaneously the 
Lettish National Council respectfully submits the 
following resolutions passed by it to all Allied 
and neutral governments : — 

''(1) The Brest-Litovsk Peace Treaty of 3 
March, 1918, by which an attempt was made to par- 
tition Latvia, represents an act of violence against 
the right of nations to self-determination (which 
right was recognized in Germany as a basis of the 
said treaty prior to its conclusion), and the said 
treaty must therefore be declared null and void. 

*'(2) The Lettish National Council denounces 
the decisions of the Landesrats as acts of political 

**(3) The Lettish National Council is opposed 
to the annexation of Latvia to Germany, and also 
to any personal union with the kingdom of Prus- 


*'(4) The Lettish National Council announces 
that any military and economic conventions, if any 
such be concluded between Germany and the 
Landesrats in Latvia, are hereby declared null 
and void by Latvia and the Letts. 

''(5) The Lettish National Council protests 
against the curtailment of the freedom of the 
press, the right of free speech, of assemblies and 
all kinds of communication, of the suspension of 
personal rights and the illegal appointment by 
the occupational authorities of magistrates both 
in town and country districts throughout the whole 
of Latvia. 

" (6) The Lettish National Council considers it- 
self as the supreme representative authority for 
Latvia until war refugees have returned, and un- 
til the political constitution of Latvia is finally de- 

'' (7) The Lettish National Council demands an 
independent and integral State of Latvia, to in- 
clude all Lettish countries, secured by interna- 
tional guarantees. ' ' 

The above-quoted document shows exactly 
where the Lettish people stood in their relation 
to Germany. And yet upon the collapse of the lat- 
ter, the efforts made by the Letts to regain their 
land were thwarted for a time by the Allies, un- 
doubtedly because of a misunderstanding of the 
Lettish problem. The government of the German 
barons, which had been sustained up to November 


11, 1918, by Prussian bayonets, appealed to the 
Allies for support. Unfortunately Great Britain 
sent a fleet to Riga in response to their appeals. 
This threw the Lettish people straight into the 
arms of Bolshevist Russia, and with the co-opera- 
tion of Russian forces they drove the foreigners 
out of their country and occupied Riga. 

It would be nothing short of a moral disaster 
for the Allies to lend aid to the small group of 
Teuton landowners who had exploited Lettonia 
for centuries. Whatever the political views of the 
Letts, they are entitled to their country and cannot 
conceivably be turned over again to their oppres- 
sors. The Lettish peasants should, by all means, 
be provided with sufficient land to allow them to 
live and develop as freemen. As to the future in- 
ternational status of Lettonia, there are several 
possible solutions. There is a Polish clique which 
aims to create a union of all the small Baltic states, 
to be dominated by a Greater Poland, for the sake 
of cutting Russia off from the Baltic. The Teu- 
tonic nobility of Lettonia would place the country 
under the protectorate of an imperial Prussia. A 
section of Lettish opinion favors a union with 
Lithuania. Another section favors the establish- 
ment of an independent, sovereign Lettish state. 
However, the majority of the Letts were for mak- 
ing Lettonia an autonomous unit of an all-Russian 
democratic federation, realizing that the powerful 


Russian nation to the east was badly in need of 
the Baltic ports and would ultimately regain them 
by force if not given access to it by their holders, 
chiefly the Letts and the Esths. 







1 \? 

ethnographic boundaries of Lithuania, Lettonia, Esthonia and Finland. 


The Esths inhabit the former Russian province 
of Esthland and the northern part of the province 
of Livonia, as well as the islands of the Moon 
Sound and some adjoining sections of the prov- 
inces of Petrograd and Pskov. Esthonia, there- 
fore, lies on the Baltic, its northern boundary be- 
ing the Gulf of Finland. In the south it adjoins 
Lettonia. In the east it touches the western side 
of Lake Peipus. The population of Esthonia is 
approximately a million and a half. Nine-tenths 
of the inhabitants are Esthonians. 

The Esthonians, or Esths, are of Mongolian ori- 
gin and belong to the Finnish family. By religion 
they are closely connected with the Letts, both na- 
tionalities professing Lutheranism. They differ, 
however, from their southern neighbors in every- 
thing else, language, physical appearance and cul- 
ture. The Esthonians and their northern kindred, 
the Finns, have much in common historically and 
physically. Their forefathers were a race of war- 
riors of whom the Baltic seamen were afraid. In 
the twelfth century a Danish king attempted to 



subdue them. He invaded their country and 
forced them to adopt Christianity. They resumed 
their heathenism, however, as soon as the Scandi- 
navian invaders departed. In 1219 another Danish 
king, Waldemar II, was more successful in intro- 
ducing Christianity into Esthonia, but after his 
death the Esths revolted and caused his successors 
so miich trouble that Denmark sold the conquered 
portion of Esthonia to the Livonian Order of the 
Knights of the Sword who had already conquered 
Lettonia and the southern section of Esthonia. 

After that the fate of the Esthonians was very 
similar to that of the Letts. Both were subjected 
by the Teutons and oppressed cruelly. It was this 
brotherhood in bondage that created the ties of in- 
timate relationship now existing between the Letts 
and Esths, in spite of their racial difference. The 
two underwent the same treatment at the hands of 
the German nobility who form even now only two 
and a half per cent, of the Esthonian population. 
They reduced the peasants to a condition of virtual 
serfdom by controlling nearly all of the tillable 
land. In 1521 Esthonia came under Sweden's rule, 
which stimulated the development of the country 
and improved the condition of the peasants. Two 
hundred years later, in 1721, Esthonia was ceded 
to Russia by the Peace of Nystad. Alexander I 
abolished, in 1817, the institution of serfdom, guar- 
anteeing the peasants the right of property, but 


the German landlords distorted the law and re- 
duced it to nothing. 

The clergy, which is related by blood to the Teu- 
tonic aristocracy, cooperated with the latter in 
keeping the Esthonians in a state of submission. 
''If you are made a slave," read a typical proc- 
lamation of the priests to the Esthonian peasants 
in 1816, ' ' serve with pleasure, and remember that 
it is not for everybody to be a master. One has 
received a great honor, another quite a small one. 
Do not be ashamed of rendering forced labor. 
When you do what you are commanded to do, you 
get honor enough from so doing. Remember 
Jesus, who obeyed and humbled himself even unto 
death. Do not despise your superiors, and when 
they are mistaken, remember that they, too, are 
men. Perform your forced labor and pay your 
taxes willingly." 

But the oppression of the masters was so merci- 
less that the Esthonians revolted in 1859. The 
rising was suppressed and the German landlords 
continued to exploit, with the help of the Russian 
authorities, the peasants. These Germans were 
the embodiment of all that was cruel in both the 
Teuton and Russian governing classes. Of them 
Bismarck said in 1867: ''It is a generally recog- 
nized truth that the German who has become a 
Russian is worse than the Russian himself. The 
Russian steals because of immediate necessity, but 
when the German steals, he thinks of the future. ' ' 


In the last forty years a campaign of Russifica- 
tion was inaugurated and carried on in Esthonia 
by the Tsar's government. Having clung to their 
tongue for more than six centuries under the Teu- 
tonic barons, the Esths were not to be Russified so 
easily. The efforts of the Russian authorities only 
stimulated them to revive their own language, pos- 
sessed of literary and poetical qualities, and cul- 
tivate it more assiduously than ever. ' ' They have 
a decided love of poetry, ' ' writes Prince Peter A. 
Kropotkin, ''and exhibit great facility in impro- 
vising verses and poems on all occasions, and they 
sing everywhere from morning till night. Like the 
Finns, they possess rich stores of national songs." 
The latter were collected and published under the 
name of "Kalevi Poeg," bearing a striking re- 
semblance to Finland 's great national epic, the Ka- 

The Esthonian literary revival entailed, of 
course, the growth of a national movement. The 
commercial development of the region, which as- 
sumed considerable importance as a gateway from 
Russia to the West, made for prosperity and the 
rise of a middle-class. Like Lettonia, Esthonia 
was the scene of a violent revolutionary outbreak 
in 1905, due to the same causes and resulting in 
the same fearful measures of repression. After 
the successful revolution of 1917, Esthonia was 
granted by the Russian Provisional Government 
a national diet, which was elected in July of that 


year by universal suffrage and on the basis of 
proportional representation. It met in Keval and 
after a short struggle succeeded in wresting pow- 
er from the baronial Landtags. After the over- 
throw of the Provisional Government by the Bol- 
sheviki the diet proclaimed Esthonia's indepen- 
dence. A National Assembly met in January, 
1918, and declared Esthonia a neutral country. 
It rejected the proposal of the Teutonic nobility 
to ask for German protection in the following reso- 
lution : 

''AH the political parties of Esthonia affirm that 
the Esthonian people in its entirety is opposed 
to the occupation of Esthonia by German troops 
and sees in such occupation a most cruel violation 
of its national sovereign rights. At the same time 
the whole nation wishes that all foreign troops 
be at once removed from Esthonian territory. ' ' 

However, the nobles knew that their end was 
certain, unless the Germans came to their sup- 
port. They therefore addressed a petition to Ger- 
many, inviting it to occupy Esthonia. The invita- 
tion was promptly accepted, the diet and Estho- 
nian Provisional Government were suppressed, 
the reforms that were inaugurated were revoked, 
and the small group of Junkers, leaning on Ger- 
man troops, proceeded to restore the cruel rule of 
the days of Tsarism. The Esthonian language 
was prohibited, the press crushed, political activity 
suppressed. German mayors and governors were 


appointed in place of those elected by the Estho- 
nians. The nobility even started a reign of White 
Terror against the revolutionary working classes. 

"The representatives of the Esthonian Provi- 
sioial Government in Stockholm on July 3, 1918, is- 
sued a strongly-worded protest against the bar- 
baric German oppression," according to A. Piip. 
"This was not the first protest published by the 
Esthonians, as protests were issued against the 
right of the German barons to appeal for German 
troops to occupy the country, and also repudiating 
the right of the Landtags of nobility to speak on 
behalf of the Esthonian people. Protest was fur- 
ther made against the decision of the United 
Landesrat to ask for personal union with Prussia. 
The Esthonians have nothing in common, politic- 
ally, with Germany; they desire neither annexa- 
tion nor personal union ; they claim their right to 
be independent, to be free of German domination, 
and also to be dissociated from the anarchic policy 
of the Great-Russians, Esthonia strongly pro- 
tests against the violation of international laws, 
and even the restrictions of the Brest-Litovsk 
Treaty are ignored." 

The Esthonian Provisional Government ap- 
pealed for recognition to the Allies in the spring 
of 1918. The British Secretary of State for For- 
eign Affairs, Arthur J. Balfour, replied on May 3, 
as follows : 


"His Majesty's Government greet with sympa- 
thy the aspirations of the Esthonian people, and 
are glad to reaffirm their readiness to grant pro- 
visional recognition to the Esthonian National 
Council as a de facto independent body until the 
Peace Conference, when the future status of Estho- 
nia ought to be settled as far as possible in accord- 
ance with the wishes of the population. It would 
obviously be impossible for His Majesty's govern- 
ment at the present time to guarantee to Estho- 
nia the right to participate at the Peace Confer- 
ence, but at any such conference His Majesty's 
government will do their utmost to secure that the 
above principle is applied to Esthonia. ' ' 

Recognition was also extended to the Esthonian 
National Council by the French and Italian gov- 
ernments. While this was occurring, Esthonia, it 
should be remembered, was under the control of 
a German force. The National Council and its 
representatives in the Allied countries had no 
power in Esthonia. Besides, it was elected during 
Iverensky's rule and represented an alignment of 
forces which, according to the claims of Estho- 
nian labor leaders, underwent a great change in 
subsequent months. 

When Germany surrendered to the Allies, the 
Esthonian nobility was confronted with the same 
situation as the Lettonian aristocracy. Both were 
of Teutonic origin. But there were two added ele- 
ments in the Esthonian problem. First, its racial 


community with Finland, where a semi-military 
government fmictioned. Second, the bonds that 
existed between Sweden and certain elements of 
the Esthonian middle and upper class. The Es- 
thonian people were anxious to free themselves 
of their yoke, but discovered that the Allies had 
asked Germany to keep its troops in the Baltic 
provinces as a police force. This was a shock to 
the Esths, and many of them swung toward Bol- 
shevist Russia, asking Moscow for support. On 
the other hand, the upper and middle classes sent 
out urgent appeals for aid to the Allies, to Swe- 
den and the Finnish government. England sent a 
few warships to Reval, the Esthonian port, while 
Sweden and Finland despatched military expedi- 
tions to help the Esthonian bourgeoisie in its fight 
against the Esthonian proletariat which had ob- 
tained Bolshevist support. 

The outcome of the struggle will depend on what | 
will have transpired in Lettonia and Finland. The 
former had early in January, 1919, been captured 
by the Lettish-Bolshevist forces. If Finland's mil- 
itary government were to meet the same fate as 
that of the German baronial government of Let- 
tonia, then Esthonia would be unable to maintain 
its middle-class government. Such a solution 
would place Esthonia 's international status in the 
same position as that of Lettonia, i.e., autonomous 
national existence within the ranks of an all-Rus- 


sian federation of states. Otherwise, it is con- 
ceivable that Esthonia would conclude an alliance 
with either Sweden or Finland, or both, and sever 
all connections with Russia. 



Finland was one of the few subject countries 
in Europe before the outbreak of the Great War 
in 1914 which always attracted considerable at- 
tention abroad. In a very large measure it was 
due to Finland 's high state of culture and its con- 
stitutional rights. The civilized world was aware 
that historically, ethnically and culturally Finland 
was a national entity for itself, entitled to the 
free development of its spiritual and economic 

Because of Finland's geographical position 
mainly, there is a mistaken general belief that the 
Finns are racially related to the Scandinavian 
peoples. The fact is that the Finns are a branch 
of the Mongolian race, and belong to the Finno- 
Ugrian linguistic family. There are numerous 
Finno-Ugrian tribes all over northern Russia. 
Large numbers of these Finns have been assimi- 
lated by the Russians. However, the inhabitants 
of Finland developed along individual lines, in- 
dependent of their eastern relatives. As early 
as the seventh century the ancestors of the present 



Finns invaded the peninsular Baltic territory 
which is bounded on the south by the Gulf of Fin- 
land and on the west by the Gulf of Bothnia. It 
was a marshy land, dotted with innumerable lakes. 
From the nature of the country the Finns got 
their native name — Suomilaiset — which translated 
into English means — ''the people of the fens." 

Christianity was first introduced into Finland 
about 1157, when King Eric IX of Sweden in- 
vaded the country, accompanied by a bishop and a 
number of priests, who remained in Finland to 
convert its inhabitants to Christianity. However, 
the Finlanders did not take quickly to the new 
faith and Sweden had to conquer the country again 
in the thirteenth century, in the course of which 
the Finns were Christianized and Finland com- 
pletely subjugated by the Swedes. In 1293 the 
Swedish ruler, Porgils Knutsson, extended his 
power as far east as Viborg, which he founded. 
This brought him into conflict with the Russians. 
Later the Swedes pushed on farther eastward, but 
were unable to retain their hold. In the fourteenth 
century Finland was recognized as a dominion 
of Sweden, and the latter set itself to civili^ie the 
Finns. The Swedish language and Swedish laws 
and arts were introduced into the country, but the 
Finns were treated as equals by the Swedes, so 
that Finland really owes to Sweden its high state 
of civilization. A court of appeal was established 
in Finland in 1623 and a university founded in 


1640. The justice with which Sweden governed 
Finland led to happy relations between the two 
peoples. Intermarriage was free, resulting in the 
course of many centuries in a considerable blend- 
ing of both races. Yet, nevertheless, the Finnish 
peasants continued to speak their own tongue, al- 
though the upper classes and all the governmental 
institutions used Swedish. Early in the sixteenth 
century the Lutheran Church was established in 
Finland and in the beginning of the seventeenth 
century Gustavus Adolphus granted a diet to the 
Finns, composed of representatives of four es- 
tates, nobility, clergy, townsmen and peasants. 
Learning was encouraged and printing was fos- 
tered by the Swedish governors. Thus, when the 
university was founded by Governor Per Brahe, 
he urged Swedish professors to study Finnish, 
which, he said, ''does not lack a certain elegance 
in its construction and does honor to the coun- 

In the course of the seventeenth century Fin- 
land was visited by terrible pestilences, accom- 
panied by famine. The country had been impov- 
erished during the Thirty Years' War, and with 
the subsequent decline of Sweden, it became the 
battlefield for contending armies. Already Peter 
the Great, who built St. Petersburg, launched his 
policy of Russian expansion along the Baltic. 
From 1710 to 1721 the Russian armies gradually 
penetrated and occupied aU Finland, By the 


Peace of Nystad, of 1721, Sweden ceded to Russia 
the southeastern corner of Finland. When the 
Russians withdrew and the refugees began to re- 
turn, they found, according to one historian, ''the 
roads destroyed, the bridges broken, no horses, 
no food, the whole country a desert. The houses 
were either burned down or roofless and window- 
less, their contents sacked; the wells were filled 
up with earth, the ploughlands were overgrown 
with forests, birds had their nests in the aban- 
doned churches. The university was closed be- 
tween 1710 and 1722, and other important institu- 
tions suffered acutely during the same period." 

Finland's recuperative powers were, however, 
so great as to restore normal conditions in a brief 
time. Peace did not last long in Finland after 
1721. The Swedes made an effort to regain the 
territory conquered by Peter the Great, but failed 
miserably, so that they were even compelled to 
cede some more Finnish territory to Russia in 
1743. This dismemberment of Finland, due to 
Sw^edish weakness, roused in the Finns a national 
spirit. It was natural for them to develop a sense 
of independence, as the power of Sweden de- 
creased and that of Russia grew. The Finnish 
national movement may therefore be said to date 
from the eighteenth century, although it did not 
attain its climax till a centuiy later. This move- 
ment first aimed at the liberation of the Finns 
from the cultural Swedish domination. The Fin- 


nish language, which is totally foreign to the 
Swedish, but which had been suppressed, was now 
revived and propagated. The first known writer 
in Finnish was Michael Agricola, who published a 
number of books, including the first Finnish trans- 
lation of the New Testament, about the middle of 
the sixteenth century. For two hundred years 
afterwards Swedish was the dominant literary 
tongue of the country. However, toward the end 
of the eighteenth century a Finnish scholar, Hen- 
rik Porthan, initiated a movement for the study 
of Finnish history and philology, inspiring several 
young followers to lead in the resurrection of Fin- 
nish culture. 

The Swedish monarchs fought for the recon- 
quest of the parts of Finland captured by Russia. 
They were not successful in their attempts, suc- 
ceeding only in devastating and impoverishing 
Finnish lands. In 1808-9, a great struggle between 
Sweden and Russia developed. The Finns, recog- 
nizing Sweden's impotence, accepted the offer 
made by Alexander I of Russia to enter the Rus- 
sian empire as an autonomous grand duchy. A 
diet met in Finland to pass upon the proposal, 
and agreed to become part of Russia on condition 
that Alexander I solemnly recognize the Finnish 
Constitution, and pledge himself to preserve Fin- 
land's religion, laws and liberties. The Russian 
emperor personally attended the diet and con- 
firmed the Finnish Constitution. He was greeted 


as the Grand Duke of Finland and won the grati- 
tude of the Finns. The Russians created a Fin- 
nish Senate, for administrative and judicial pur- 
poses. A Eussian Secretary of State for Finland 
was appointed by Alexander. The secretary was 
Russia's famous Liberal statesman of that time, 
Speransky. On March 15-27, 1809, Alexander is- 
sued, while at Borga, the following proclamation, 
which, together with another manifesto issued 
later, formed the charter of Finland's autonomy: 

* ' We, Alexander the First, by the Grace of God 
Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russians, etc., do 
make known : — 

''That Providence having placed us in posses- 
sion of the Grand Duchy of Finland, we have de- 
sired hereby to confirm and ratify the religion 
and fundamental Laws of the Land as well as the 
privileges and rights which each class in the said 
Grand Duchy in particular, and all the inhabitants 
in general, be their position high or low, have 
hitherto enjoyed according to the Constitution. 
We promise to maintain all these benefits and 
laws firm and unshakable in their full force. In 
confirmation whereof we have signed this Act of 
Assurance with Our own hand." 

When Russia took over Finland, the province of 
Viborg, previously annexed by Russia, was re- 
united with its mother-country. Speransky or- 
ganized the Grand Duchy, writing to the Emperor 
at the conclusion of his labors: "Finland is a 


State, not a province." Up to 1863 Finland's diet 
was not convoked again, its constitution making 
no provision for the regular meeting of the as- 
sembly. It was Alexander II, the Liberator, who 
summoned the representatives of the Finnish Es- 
tates. It was also he who promulgated a separate 
money system for Finland. When in 1873 Russia 
adopted the universal military service law, at- 
tempts were made by its sponsors to include the 
Finns in the Russian Army. However, Alexander 

II held that it was for the Finnish diet to make 
provisions for an army in Finland, which it did. 

With the accession to the throne of Alexander 

III the reactionary and extreme nationalist Rus- 
sian elements had their sway, and they found de- 
tached Finland a stumbling-block in their Pan- 
Slavic plans. Finland had to be Russified, such 
Avas the view of those imperialists. A campaign 
was begun by the Russian government in 1890, in- 
tended to wipe out gradually the autonomous Fin- 
nish departments. Many ordinances were passed 
suspending Finnish laws. Finally a crisis was 
reached in 1899, when Governor-General Bobrikov, 
in addressing the Finnish diet on behalf of the 
Tsar, spoke of the Finns as of Russian subjects 
and denied the diet's right to legislate for Finland. 
A new military law was proposed, whereby the 
Finnish army was to be dissolved and the Fin- 
nish soldiers incorporated in Russian units. Of 
course, the diet was unwilling to give its consent 


to the bill. General Bobrikov then produced a 
manifesto from the Tsar, which in etfect nullified 
Finland's constitution wherever the empire's in- 
terests were concerned. 

As Finland's struggle for its constitutional 
rights was opening with this notorious manifesto, 
it may be pertinent to review the internal social 
activities of the country during the nineteenth cen- 
tury. When Finland entered the Russian empire 
in 1809, it also entered upon a century of peace, 
prosperity and intense cultural development. 
Having freed itself from the Swedish governmen- 
tal domination through its joining of Russia, the 
Finns still found themselves in the grip of Swedish 
rule. All the administrative offices were held by 
Swedes or Finns who had become Swedes; all 
business was transacted in the Swedish language, 
the literature of the country was Swedish. The na- 
tional movement therefore raised the banner of 
the revival of the Finnish language. ' ^ We are not 
Swedes, we don't want to become Russians, let us 
then be Finns," was the motto devised by a Fin- 
nish publicist. It was taken up by a group of 
young intellectuals, who became enamored of 
their country's "singularly rich and beauitiful 
tongue, " as a student of Finland puts it ; " doctors 
and professors, visiting the people in lonely set- 
tlements, far up the lakes, or on the fringe of 
the vast Karelian forests, found them in posses- 
sion of a wide store of legends, the strangest myth- 


ology, and a fine and complex poetical form. The 
Finnish people began to think of their country as 
'Suomi,' something utterly distinct from Sweden 
or Russia, having a language of its own." 

However, the Fimiish language was so back- 
ward a vehicle for expression in the early part of 
the eighteenth century that the first ideas of 
Finnish nationalism met with scorn and ridicule 
on the part of the educated classes. ' ' To the aris- 
tocratic Swede, living the life of a country gentle- 
man, ' ' writes Arthur Reade, * ' the talk of Finnish 
nationalists seemed at first utterly absurd and 
later on almost impious. The idea that the stolid- 
looking and rather unkempt Finn who worked on 
his estate and spoke a barbarous-sounding lan- 
guage should aspire to a practical equality with a 
race boasting a polished and ancient culture and 
an honorable name in history seemed preposter- 
ous. The Finns were regarded as ugly and stupid. 
When they desired Finnish to be the language of 
instruction in the schools, the Swedes replied that 
one simply could not imagine instruction being 
conveyed in so gross a tongue. The idea of a 
literature in Finnish seemed equally grotesque. 
No educated person would ever employ such a lan- 
guage. As to Finnish being used as the official 
language, this was pure madness." 

To a considerable degree this was true a century 
ago. The man mostly. responsible for the evolu- 
tion of a Finnish literary tongue, thus furnishing 


the backbone for the nationalist movement, was 
Elias Lonnrot. Born in 1802, a poet by nature, he 
early devoted himself to the collection of Finnish 
folk-poetry. For nearly twenty years he jour- 
neyed into the remotest corners of his country, 
gathering material for a national epic. The fruit 
of his labors was the famous "Kalevala," Fin- 
land 's Homer, and one of the finest poetical treas- 
ures in the literature of the world. Around Lonn- 
rot gathered the leaders of the rising generation. 
In 1854 he was prevailed upon to become profes- 
sor of Finnish at the Helsingf ors University. Ten 
years previous, however, the first Finnish periodi- 
cal had already made its appearance, laying the 
foundation for the Fennoman (Finnish-Finn), as 
opposed to the Svekoman (Swedish-Finn), party. 
The country was thus divided into two camps. 
The Fennoman element had a hard uphill fight to 
make, as it was feared that the cultural isolation 
of Finland from both Eussia and Sweden would 
prove harmful to it. But the nationalists soon 
obtained the support of Russia. Alexander II, 
after having received the leader of the Fennoman 
movement, Snellman, issued a rescript which made 
Finnish the equal of the Swedish language. This 
was really interference with the prerogatives of 
the Finnish diet, but it was brought about by the 
Finns themselves. 

The language-conflict, however, was more than 
that. It was not only a racial and cultural strug- 


gle between Finns and Swedes, but also an eco- 
nomic struggle between the labor class, almost ex- 
clusively Finnish, and the commercial and aris- 
tocratic classes, largely Swedish. This is why the 
imperial rescript of Alexander II did not settle 
the contest, as economic conditions were favorable 
toward its perpetuation. However, the Finns ob- 
tained the upper hand, mainly because the major- 
ity of the people were pure Finns. 

When Russia embarked upon its policy of Rus- 
sification in Finland, the Fennoman and Svekoman 
elements united to oppose the designs of Tsarism. 
Governor-General Bobrikov initiated a cam- 
paign of terrorization which reduced Finland's 
autonomy virtually to nothing. A Russian bu- 
reaucracy was planted and cultivated by Bobrikov 
and the Russian language was foisted on the em- 
bittered Finns. All the petitions and protests of 
the oppressed race were in vain. A national ad- 
dress to the emperor was secretly got up, to urge 
upon the Tsar the restoration of the constitution. 
It was an amazing revelation of Finnish national 
solidarity. More than half a million signatures 
were collected in ten days, every adult citizen, ir- 
respective of sex, being permitted to sign. This 
enormous collection is still preserved. A deputa- 
tion was quietly sent with the address to present 
it to the Tsar, but he refused to grant an audience. 

While thus striving legally to regain their con- 
stitutional rights, the Finns also embarked upon 


a clandestine revolutionary movement which, of 
course, was confined to the working and intellec- 
tual classes only. The first Socialist party ap- 
peared in Finland in 1899. It fought not only for 
freedom from Russian autocratic domination, but 
also for internal reforms. The assassination in 
1903 of Governor Bobrikov was an act which natur- 
ally met with the approval of nearly all the popu- 
lar elements of the country. The conservatives, 
however, did not look with favor upon the agita- 
tion of the Finnish Socialists for the revision of 
the Constitution, — an antiquated bill of rights of 
Swedish origin, antedating the French Revolution. 
The Finnish diet was still based on the four es- 
tates, being in fact a combination of a house of 
nobility, a house of clergy, a house of burghers, 
and a house of landed peasantry. The laborers, 
whether in town or country, had no representation 
in it. 

The revolutionary year of 1905, which shook all 
Russia, stirred Finland profoundly. A general 
strike, simultaneous with the great Russian strike, 
gripped Finland in the fall of that year. It was a 
purely revolutionary affair. All public life was 
paralyzed. All means of communication, includ- 
ing postal and telegraph service, were suspended. 
The cities were without electricity. Shops, faC' 
tories, schools were universally closed, with the ex- 
ception of food stores. The Tsar, bowing before 
the spontaneous demonstration of popular feeling, 


restored the Constitution and repealed all the il- 
legal ordinances. With the external yoke re- 
moved, class strife assumed larger proportions 
and a deeper meaning. The labor element won the 
fight for a new constitution and an electoral system 
was promulgated which provided for universal 
adult suffrage, regardless of sex, and for propor- 
tional representation. The first popular diet met 
in 1907. There were eighty Socialists in this as-' 
sembly, which comprised a total of two hundred 
deputies. There were nineteen women members. 
The extent of Socialist influence came as a rev- 
elation to the middle and upper classes. These 
clung to their places in the governmental ma- 
chineiy, especially since the municipal forms of 
government had not been modernized. The old 
fight between Fennoman and Svekoman was re- 
newed as a struggle between labor and capital. In 
spite of this Finland prospered, progressing politi- 
cally, economically and spiritually. 

But reaction meanwhile raised its head in Rus- 
sia. Following the revolution of 1905, the Russian 
autocracy resumed its policy of terrorization of its 
subject nationalities. There began in Finland 
what has been called ''the second period of Rus- 
sianization. " Indeed, for a while it seemed in- 
congruous that within a few miles from the seat 
of Tsardom, there should function an autonomous 
democracy so radical in its convictions. The Rus- 
sian bureaucrats could get along with the Finnish 


bureaucracy, as their identity of interests had been 
emphasized by the events of 1905 ; but how could 
they ever tolerate a diet virtually dominated by 
Socialists? Besides, Russia was entertaining de- 
signs on some Scandinavian warm- water port, as 
those of Eussia were frozen the greater part of 
the year. It was necessary to Russianize Finland 
in order to lay the groundwork for a railway sys- 
tem there, pointing menacingly toward some Nor- 
wegian harbor. The Finnish diet became the first 
target of the Tsar's authorities. It was dissolved 
several times, and the emperor consistently vetoed 
all its bills, thus rendering them void. Every new 
election yielded a larger Socialist force in the 
Diet, provoking the imperial government further. 
In 1908 Premier Stolypin, later assassinated in a 
theatre in the presence of the Tsar, proclaimed be- 
fore the Duma that Finland's autonomy was not 
legislative, but local. He then proceeded to get 
the Tsar's assent to a proposal to empower the 
Russian Council of Ministers to pass upon all 
Finnish legislative and administrative affairs. 
Finland's protests were in vain. On the recom- 
mendation of the Russian Cabinet, the Tsar re- 
jected practically all the laws promulgated by 
the Finnish Diet. In 1910 the Russian Council of 
Ministers appointed a commission which drew up 
a proposal that virtually abolished the authority 
of the Finnish Diet, making it a mere shell of a 
legislative institution. This "program" was ac- 


cepted by the reactionary Duma and later made 
permanent. Western Europe was greatly agitated 
over the Russian treatment of Finland. Large 
sections of the British, French, German, Italian, 
Belgian and Dutch parliaments addressed memo- 
rials to the Duma, pointing out that the rights of 
Finland's constitution were historical and indis- 
putable. The imperial ''program" for Finland 
was not pressed in its entirety, mainly because of 
the commotion in Europe. A conference of inter- 
national jurisconsults was held in 1910 ''to ex- 
amine the relations between Finland and Russia." 
It resolved that ' ' Finland has the right to demand 
that the Russian empire should respect her con- 
stitution." It had the effect of consolidating 
European public opinion in favor of Finland. 

It was not unnatural for the Finns to assume a 
pro-German attitude upon the outbreak of the 
Great War. They saw in the destruction or de- 
feat of Russia their own deliverance. Unfortu- 
nately, the Entente powers did not try to influence 
the Tsar 's government to relax its oppressive hold 
on the little northern country. The result was 
that the middle and upper classes began to look 
to Germany for the restoration of Finnish inde- 
pendence. Thousands of them emigrated to Ger- 
many and many thousands more entered the ranks 
of the German armies to fight against Russia, pre- 
paring the nucleus for a German-Finnish force to 
attack the Russians from the rear. This alliance 


between the Finnisli aristocracy and Germany 
proved of very portentous significance after the 
Russian Revolution. 

In 1916 an election was held for the diet which 
resulted in the Socialists gaining a majority over 
the parties of the middle and upper classes. The 
spread of Socialism in Finland was extraordinary, 
embracing in its folds not only the industrial, but 
also the agricultural workers. The Trade Union 
membership alone reached seventy thousand, and 
this in a country whose entire population hardly 
approximated three million. Fourteen daily and 
fifty other journals voiced the demands of Finnish 

With the Russian Revolution came the revival 
of Finnish nationalist and socialist activities. The 
diet met in July, 1917, and declared itself in favor 
of an independent Finland. The upper classes, 
seeing in the establishment of Finnish independ- 
ence a menace of socialism, assumed a pro-Russian 
attitude and induced the Provisional Government 
of Kerensky, who looked with apprehension at 
Finland's declaration of independence at a time 
when Russia was engaged in a life-and-death 
struggle, to dissolve the diet by force. A provi- 
sional government was then formed in Finland 
opposed to the Socialists, but it was overthrown 
by a rising of the workers, who were aided by the 
Russian Bolsheviki, in January, 1918. Then fol- 
lowed a bloody civil struggle between the hard 


pressed White Guard and the victorious Red 
Guard. The former appealed for help to Sweden 
and then to Germany. ' ' The greatest aid the Ger- 
mans gave us," read the statement of a Finnish 
White Guard envoy in the United States, ''was in 
scaring the Russian Bolsheviki. German inter- 
vention gave our General Mannerheim the price- 
less opportunity of organizing our armies, and 
we were supplied with enough munitions. We 
would never have appealed to the Germans if 
Sweden had not turned us down when we asked 
that country for arms. However, private firms in 
Sweden did supply us with rifles and munitions." 
The civil strife turned into a reign of hideous 
terror on both sides. The Socialist government 
was forced to flee into Russia. A part of its forces 
joined the Allied expedition in the north, hojjing 
in view of their opposition to the Finnish-German 
rule to induce the Allies to intervene on their be- 
half in Finland. Another part of the Socialists, 
the more radical element, fled into Bolshevik Rus- 
sia, pleading for Lenine's support. Meanwhile 
the terror practiced by the White Guard in con- 
junction with the Germans, ostensibly in retalia- 
tion for the preceding reign of the Red Guard, at- 
tracted world-wide attention. The bitterness of 
the White Terror must be ascribed not only to the 
Germans, but also to the fact that the ruling class 
in Finland is of foreign, Swedish origin. Accord- 
ing to the Scandinavian correspondent of the Chi- 


cago Daily News, the Whites adopted the German 
exploitation of war prisoners as slaves, ''with the 
difference that the Finns were penalizing their 
own fellow-countrymen, a proceeding without pre- 
cedent in modern times. ' ' More than seven thou- 
sand Reds were tried in the Tammerfors Court 
and, branded as criminals, they were offered at 
wholesale to any farmer or contractor who applied 
for them. Many more thousands of Finnish work- 
ers were exported to Germany. The Finnish 
White government even went as far as inviting 
a German Prince to become King of Finland. But 
German fortunes in the war suddenly took a dis- 
astrous turn. The Whites thereupon proceeded to 
flirt with the Allies and delegated their com- 
mander, Mannerheim, to establish friendly rela- 
tions with them. Both the Red and White govern- 
ments established embassies abroad, attracting 
public attention to their opposite claims. After 
the collapse of the Central Powers, General Man- 
nerheim succeeded in gaining British unofficial 
recognition of the White Guard government. The 
United States undertook to feed Finland. 

The issue of the internal struggle in Finland 
and the ultimate form of government there can- 
not be doubted in view of the established fact that 
more than half of Finland's population is iden- 
tified with labor and socialistic movements. To- 
ward the close of 1918 a national congress of Fin- 
nish Socialists, excluding the Bolshevist faction, 


urged that Finland should be a republic with all 
legislative powers in the hands of a diet and with 
a president elected by the diet every third year. 

There can be no question as to the fitness of the 
Finnish people to govern themslves. Finland has 
the history of a parliamentary democracy back of 
it. More than ninety per cent, of the Finns are 
literate, and Finland boasts of a literature that is 
second to none. By habit, outlook and aspiration, 
the Finn is a cultured European, although of 
Asiatic blood. Finland's natural resources are ex- 
tensive. Sixty-three per cent, of its surface area 
is covered with forests, and thanks to the coun- 
try's numberless lakes and other waterways, Fin- 
land should develop an enormous timber industry. 
The reserves of granite in Finland are unparal- 
leled in any other country. Finally, Finland is 
beautiful, in fact the most beautiful northern coun- 
try in the world, which in times of peace and pros- 
perity ought to attract a large tourist trade. 

Pakt II 



Early in 1916 the world was startled by the re- 
port that the Arabs, led by the Grand Shereef of 
Mecca, revolted against the Turks and cleared the 
northern part of the Arabian Red Sea littoral of 
Ottoman troops. This was followed by reports 
of a wide national movement in Arabia. A dec- 
laration of independence was issued by the Grand 
Shereef, proclaiming Arabia's separation from 
Turkey. Then, when General Allenby undertook 
his expedition into Syria, it became known that 
an Arab force cooperated with the British army, 
contributing considerably to the Turkish rout. 

The Arabs of the fallen Turkish Empire inhabit 
the vast territory lying between the Tigris and 
the Persian Gulf on the east ; the Red Sea and the 
Mediterranean on the west; the Arabian Sea on 
the south, and Armenia and Kurdistan on the 
north. About twelve million Arabs, divided into 
innumerable tribes and sects, live here. Only 
three sections of this territory have developed 
sufficiently to claim national rights ; they are Syria, 
Mesopotamia, and the Hejaz. Arabian national- 



ism first manifested itself in Syria toward the end 
of the nineteenth century in the form of a Pan- 
Arabian movement. In 1895 an Arabian National 
Committee, formed in Paris, issued a manifesto 
which said, in part : 

''The Arabs . . . are awakened to their his- 
torical national and ethnographical homogeneous- 
ness, and aim to separate themselves from the 
Ottoman body and form an independent state. 
This new Arabian state will be confined to its 
natural boundaries, from the Tigris and the 
Euphrates to the Suez Canal, and from the Medi- 
terranean Sea to the Sea of Oman. It will be gov- 
erned by a liberal constitutional monarchy of an 
Arabian Sultan." 

Various forces prevented the successful propa- 
gation of Pan- Arabian nationalism. The policies 
of the Great Powers in the Near East tended to 
erect separate spheres of influence in the lands 
populated by the Arab. France was interested in 
Syria, especially in the Lebanon. Zionism strove 
to restore Palestine to the Jews. Great Britain 
was seeking to extend its influence over Mesopo- 
tamia, in order to secure its Indian possessions 
from German aggression by the way of the Ber- 
lin-to-Bagdad railroad. The movement for an in- 
dependent Arabia was thus confined to the isolated 
province of the Hejaz, in which the holy cities of 
Mecca and Medina are located. It was here that 
rebellion against Turkey finally raised its head 


and brought the problem of Arabia forcefully be- 
fore the court of world opinion. 

Premier Lloyd George announced on January 
5th, 1918, a solution of the problem of nationality 
in Turkey which explicitly recognized the claims 
of the Arabs in West Arabia, Mesopotamia and 
Syria. He said: "While we do not challenge the 
maintenance of the Turkish Empire in the home- 
lands of the Turkish race with its capital at Con- 
stantinople — the passage between the Mediter- 
ranean and the Black Sea being internationalized 
and neutralized — Arabia, Armenia, Mesopotamia, 
Syria and Palestine are in our judgment entitled 
to a recognition of their separate national con- 
ditions." This statement of the British Prime 
Minister defined Arabia as a political term, com- 
prehending the Hejaz and the adjoining provinces 
only, and excluding Palestine, Syria and Meso- 
potamia. And it is in this narrow sense that the 
word Arabia is employed in these pages. 

The Arabs are Semites, and their land is said 
to have been the cradle of the Semitic race. It is 
from Arabia that the early settlers of Babylonia, 
Assyria and Palestine came. A thousand years 
before the Christian era several kingdoms were 
established in Arabia. At the time of the rise of 
Islam the various Arabian lands were governed 
by numerous chiefs. Many of the Arab tribes were 
nomadic, wandering from one part of the country 
to another. A number of Jewish tribes, appar- 


ently immigrants from Palestine, were found in 
Arabia as early as the sixth century. 

Mohammed appeared more than thirteen cen- 
turies ago. He was bom in Mecca, but made his 
capital Medina. It was from there that he started 
the movement to introduce his creed into all 
Arabian and non-Arabian lands. It is not gen- 
erally realized that Mohammed's religious teach- 
ing was closely identified with Arabian national- 
ism. Arabia for the Arabs, was the watchword of 
the Prophet. Around him gathered a party of 
adherents who adopted his religion as well as his 
national idea. He succeeded in capturing Mecca, 
and this helped him greatly in extending his rule 
over the neighboring lands. At his death Arabia 
was a united country. 

Mohammed's successor, Abu Bekr, was the first 
to assume the title of Caliph. As such he continued 
the Prophet's policy of spreading Islam and im- 
posing it on the neighboring states, Persia and 
Byzantium. At the same time, his domestic rule 
was such as to consolidate the various tribes under 
the banner of the Caliphate. By diverting their 
attention to foreign lands he succeeded in pre- 
serving peace among themselves. Omar, who fol- 
lowed Abu Bekr, was perhaps the best tj'^pification 
of a nationalist Caliph. Indeed, it was the main 
task of his great career to establish a system of 
government based on justice and to strengthen 
the internal bonds that made for a strong Arabia. 


Omar was, however, not only a brilliant ruler of 
his country, but extremely successful as a Caliph, 
carrying the wars that his predecessors had 
launched to victorious conclusions. In his war 
against the Byzantine Empire he invaded Syria, 
capturing Damascus in 635 and Jerusalem in 636. 
Four years later his armies conquered Egypt and 
took Alexandria. Persia was completely overrun 
by the Moslems during his rule. He even dis- 
patched a fleet to the Abyssinian coast, to protect 
the followers of Islam there, but it was wrecked, 
and Omar never tried to build another in its 
stead, although his successors did create an 
Arabian navy. 

The united Arabian state did not last long. 
Arabia's sons spread out in every direction, build- 
ing new cities and states in Egypt, Syria, Meso- 
potamia, Persia, where they acquired wealth and 
power. Wherever they settled, they established 
Mohammedanism, sometimes after prolonged 
struggles. While this was going on, feuds de- 
veloped in Arabia proper, which weakened its 
position as an active force in the propagation of 
Mohammedanism. The center of Moslem life 
shifted from Mecca and Medina, which w^ere too 
remote from the then existing civilized world, to 
various places in the conquered lands, as they at- 
tained in turn their maximum of power. The Cali- 
phate went where Islam flourished, changing in the 
course of centuries several seats. Arabia still re- 


mained the holy land, the birthplace and grave of 
the Prophet, and as such it attracted enormous 
numbers of pilgrims annually, who brought with 
them wealth to the country. But Arabia ceased to 
be a living power in Islam. It lost its prestige as 
a strong national entity, and gradually declined as 
a state. Protection, however, had to be accorded 
the vast gatherings from all over the world that 
poured into the sacred Mohammedan cities. It 
was this that gave birth to the Shereefate of 
Mecca. There were numerous descendants of the 
Prophet in Mecca and Medina. This posterity be- 
came a sort of nobility, the head of each family 
bearing the name of ' ' Sharif, ' ' which, in Arabian, 
means "the noble." Several of these families be- 
came powerful about 1000 A. D., and from 1200 
one house of descendants from Ali, the nephew of 
Mohammed, managed to keep itself in office. The 
ruling Shereef is addressed by his people, "Our 
Master," and is virtually a king, provided he is 
capable of extending his domain over the turbu- 
lent tribes in the vicinity. The Shereefs have not 
always been able to control Medina, to safeguard 
the routes along which the pilgrims came to the 
holy land, or to suppress the various claimants to 
the Shereefate. 

The international status of the Shereefate was 
never clearly defined. The Caliphs of the newly 
arisen Moslem powers "neither expressly recog- 
nized nor expressly objected to the Shereefate as 


unlawful," observes Professor C. Snouck Hur- 
gronje ; ''its century-long existence attained more- 
over a sort of virtual legitimacy through its ac- 
ceptance by many Moslem tribes, who were rep- 
resented in the holy city by the annual deputations 
of pilgrims. These visitors were constantly ex- 
posed to ill-treatment on the part of the Shereef. 
Yet, in spite of that, they held to a belief that 
domination over the Holy City belonged right- 
fully to a branch of the Holy Family. The fact 
was simply accepted as irrefutable." 

Religiously, the holy land was, of course, sub- 
ject to the Caliphate. When two Caliphs appeared 
in Islam, the one of Mecca having moved to Da- 
mascus and finally to Bagdad, and the so-called 
heretical Caliphate established in Egypt, the 
Shereef of Mecca had a hard time of it. The two 
were soon wiped out by the Mongols and the Sul- 
tans took over their spiritual position. Begin- 
ning with the thirteenth century the Egyptian Sul- 
tans exercised a virtual protectorate over the 
Hejaz, their rule lasting until the sixteenth cen- 
tury. The conquest of Egypt by the Turks passed 
the protectorate over the Shereefate to the Otto- 
man Sultans. When the Turks became the most 
powerful nation in Islam, their rulers adopted the 
title of Caliph. Having conquered practically the 
entire Middle East, the Turks allowed the pashas 
of their subjugated lands to exercise almost dic- 
tatorial rights. The governors of Syria, Mesopo- 


tamia and Egypt all aimed to win the protectorate 
over the holy land. This led to deep discon- 
tent among the Wahhabis of Central Arabia, zeal- 
ous Moslems, who considered that the Turks and 
their governors had dishonored Islam by making 
the holy cities the bone of contention. They de- 
clared a Jihad (holy war) against the Turks, 
which was so popular that for a time the Hejaz 
was freed from Turkish domination and the Sher- 
eefs compelled to recognize the rebels' authority. 
It was after tremendous exertions that the Turks, 
through the Pasha of Egypt, Mohammed Ali, suc- 
ceeded in recapturing the holy land. The Shereef 
was then deposed and exiled for countenancing 
the Wahhabis and a new Shereef appointed. This 
was accomplished in 1813. 

iThe Shereefate continued to exist under the 
Sultan's suzerainty, and the Egyptian Khedive's 
immediate protection. The former tightened his 
grip on the Hejaz, trying to convert it into a regu- J 
lar province. The Shereefate 's rights were grad- 
ually abrogated and there developed a conflict 
which did not end until 1880. Even after that 
year the exact administrative and sovereign rights 
of the Shereef and the Sultan in the holy land 
were not clearly fixed. The authority of each de- i 
pended on the character of the Turkish governor, \ 
on the one hand, and the Shereef, on the other. | 
Sometimes one attained the mastery, sometimes | 
the other. In 1908, with the Turkish Revolution, j 


both the Turkish governor and the Shereef were 
swept out of office, and compelled to go into exile. 

For awhile it seemed as if Turkey was to give its 
subject nationalities an opportunity to develop 
along autonomous lines. The Arabs were among 
those who had expected great things from the 
Revolution. They had a considerable representa- 
tion in the Turkish parliament, where they or- 
ganized the Arabian Club, which included those 
elements among the Arabs who were imbued with 
nationalism. However, the Young Turks turned 
their power against cultural autonomy for the 
races making up Turkey. They embarked upon 
the notorious policy of Ottomanization which 
quickly and rudely awakened these races to a real- 
ization of their condition. The Armenians, the 
Arabs and others resumed their nationalist agi- 
tation. The Hejaz became a center of discontent, 
which found its opportunity after Turkey's entry 
into the w^ar on the side of the Central Powers. 

Perhaps the chief cause of the rebellious spirit 
in the Hejaz after 1914 was not so much spiritual 
as material. The holy land extracted its living 
from the annual streams of pilgrims, coming from 
Africa, India, Russia, and Turkey itself. The 
Great War dried up these sources of revenue, 
which was a mighty weapon in the hands of She- 
reef Husein, Emir of Mecca, and his AVesternized 
sons who had been identified with the Pan- Arabian 
national movement. When the Central Powers 


induced the Turkish government to make use of 
the Sultan's authority as Caliph, and declare a 
holy war against the Allies, they only promoted 
the decline of Turkey in Islam. The fact is that 
the Sultan 's claim to the Caliphate has never been 
fully acknowledged by the Arabs, nor by the Mos- 
lems of India and Russia. When the Young Turks 
appeared in the saddle in 1908 and initiated a 
number of measures tending to modernize social 
life in Turkey, they inevitably antagonized the 
religious authorities. Especially was this an- 
tagonism manifest in the holy land, giving an 
added reason to the Shereef to militate against 
Constantinople. Young Turkish rule, therefore, 
weakened enormously the Sultan's authority as 
Caliph over Islam. The Jihad thus fell flat. It 
stimulated the Grand Shereef, however, to renew 
his never-pressed claim as a descendant of Moham- 
med to the Caliphate. With the Turkish armies 
engaged on the European and Caucasian battle- 
fields, the stage was set for Arabia's revolution. 
Under the immediate command of the three sons 
of the Shereef, military operations were begun 
against Turkey. Mecca was cleared of Ottoman 
troops and officials, and Medina besieged. Jeddah, 
Arabia's main port on the Red Sea, and Kinfuda, 
another port further south, were captured by the 
rebels. The roadbed of the Hejaz railway was 
destroyed for a distance of a hundred miles, in 
order to render it difficult for Turkey to send an 


army to combat the revolutionists. The Turks 
were too busy on other fronts to suppress the 
rebels of Hejaz, giving them an opportunity to 
consolidate and increase their forces. For once the 
surrounding tribes sank their differences and ral- 
lied to the banners of the revolution. Even more 
remarkable was the response of the remote and 
semi-independent Arabian kingdoms to the She- 
reef's call. A wave of patriotism united the 
Arabs, a thing which had not happened since the 
days of Mohammed and his immediate successors. 
The Grand Shereef then found his opportunity to 
declare Arabia's independence, in a remarkable 
document which read partly as follows: 

''In the name of Grod, the Merciful, the Compas- 
sionate, this is our general proclamation to all 
our Moslem brothers. God, judge between us 
and our people in truth ; Thou art the Judge. 

"The world knoweth that the first of all Mos- 
lem princes and rulers to acknowledge the Turk- 
ish Government w^ere the Emirs of Mecca the 
Blessed. . . . For, in truth, they were one with 
the Government until the Committee of Union and 
Progress rose up, and strengthened itself, and 
laid its hands on power. Consider how since then 
ruin has overtaken the State, and its possessions 
have been torn from it, and its place in the world 
has been lost, and now it has been drawn into this 
last and most fatal war. 

"All this they have done, being led away by 


shameful appetites, which are not for me to set 
forth, but which are public and a cause for sorrow 
to the Moslems of the whole world, who have seen 
this greatest and most noble Moslem Power broken 
in pieces and led down to ruin and utter destruc- 
tion. Our lament is also for so many of its sub- 
jects, Moslems and others alike, whose lives have 
been sacrificed without any fault of their own. 
Some have been treacherously put to death, others 
cruelly driven from their homes, as though the 
calamities of war were not enough. Of these 
calamities the heaviest share has fallen upon the 
holy land. The poor, and even families of sub- 
stance, have been made to sell their doors and 
windows, yea, even the wooden frames of their 
houses, for bread, after they had lost their furni- 
ture and all their goods. Not even so was the lust 
of the Union and Progress fulfilled. They laid 
bare all the measure of their wicked design, and 
broke the only bond that endured between them 
and the true followers of Islam. They departed 
from their obedience to the precepts of the Book. 
"For this it has been clearly our part and our 
necessary duty to separate ourselves from them 
and renounce them and their obedience. Yet we 
would not believe their wickedness, and tried to 
think that they were the imaginings of evil-doers 
to make a division between us and the Govern- 
ment. We bore with them until it was apparent 
to all men that the rulers of Turkey were Enver 


Pasha, Jemal Pasha, and Tallaat Bey, who were 
doing whatsoever they pleased. They made their 
guilt manifest when they wrote to the Judge of 
the Sacred Court in Mecca traducing the verses 
in the Surah of the Cow, and laying upon him to 
reject the evidence of believers outside the Court 
and to consider only the deeds and contracts en- 
grossed within the Court. They also showed their 
guilt when they hanged in one day twenty-one of 
the most honorable and enlightened of the Mos- 
lems. ... To destroy so many, even of cattle, 
at one time would be hard for men void of all 
natural affection or mercy. And if we suppose 
they had some excuse for this evil deed, by what 
right did they carry away to strange countries the 
innocent and most miserable families of those ill- 
fated men? Children, old men, and delicate 
women bereft of their natural protectors were sub- 
jected in exile to all foul usages and even to tor- 
tures, as though the woes they had already 
suffered were not chastisement enough. . . . 

''We leave the judgment of these misdeeds, 
which we have touched upon so briefly, to the 
world in general and to Moslems in particular. 
What stronger proof can we desire of the faith- 
lessness of their inmost hearts to the Religion, 
and of their feelings towards the Arabs, than their 
bombardment of that ancient House, which God 
has chosen for His House, saying, 'Keep My 
House pure for all who come to it' — a House so 


venerated by all Moslems'? From their fort of 
Jyad, when the revolt began, they shelled it. . . . 
We leave all this to the Moslem world for judg- 

*' Yes, we can leave the judgment to the Moslem 
world ; but we may not leave our religion and our 
existence as a nation to be a plaything of the 
Unionists. God has made open for us the attain- 
ment of freedom and independence and has shown 
us a way of victory to cut off the hand of the 
oppressors, and to cast out their garrison from 
our midst. We have attained independence, an 
independence of the rest of the Ottoman Empire, 
which is still groaning under the tyranny of our 
enemy. Our independence is complete, absolute, 
not to be laid hands on by any foreign influence or 
aggression, and our aim is the preservation of 
Islam and the uplifting of its standard in the 
world. We fortify ourselves on the noble religion 
which is our only guide and advocate in the prin- 
ciples of administration and justice. We are 
ready to accept all things in harmony with the 
Faith and all that leads to the Mountain of Islam, 
and in particular to uplift the mind and the 
spirit of all classes of the people in so far as we 
have strength and ability." 

One of the first acts of the new Arabian king- 
dom was to establish diplomatic relations with the 
Allied governments. France sent a delegation to 
Mecca to congratulate the Grrand Shereef on the 


liberation of his country, and England and France 
recognized his government. A modern council of 
ministers was set up and the holy land, for the 
first time in centuries, found itself under a decent 
administration. Mecca was thoroughly cleaned, 
a newspaper was established there, schools were 
founded and a modern army organized. Arabian 
forces helped Great Britain in its campaign in 
Mesopotamia. Even Arabian aviators fought the 
Turks. When Baghdad was captured by the 
British the Emir of Mecca sent a congratulatory 
message to the British High Commissioner in 
Egypt, praying that God grant ''victory and suc- 
cess to all those who are defending justice, civili- 
zation and the liberty of nations." 

Shereef Feisul, the third son of Emir Husein of 
Mecca, commanded the Arab force which operated 
in the rear of the Turks east of the Jordan, and 
occupied Damascus before General Allenby 
reached it. It is quite possible that without the 
Arab army outflanking it, the Ottoman army's 
debacle in Syria would not have occurred. Gen- 
eral Feisul was sent by his government to Paris 
and London, to present his people 's claims to the 
Allies and the United States. It is the hope and 
aim of the government of the Hejaz to become a 
nucleus for a united Arabian state, including 
Mesopotamia and Syria. "The Arabs ardently 
desire national independence," a correspondent 
quoted the Shereef Feisul, and added : ' ' Owing to 


the existence of an Anglo-Frencli agreement, made 
long before the importance of the Arabs as a mili- 
tary factor was realized, they fear that their 
nationalistic longings may not receive that con- 
sideration in the peace settlement to which they 
think they are entitled. Feisul therefore pins his 
hopes on Mr. Wilson. Surely, the Great War 
which has revealed so many strange things wit- 
nessed nothing else so epoch-making and so un- 
expected as the spectacle of a great Arab chief- 
tain who traces his lineage directly back to the 
Moslem Prophet, waiting in Western Europe for 
the President of the United States, who is now 
looked upon by the Arab nation as their friend 
and protector." 

According to the understanding reached early 
in 1915 between France and Great Britain, the in- 
dependence of the Arabian kingdom of the Hejaz 
was recognized by both countries, but Mesopota- 
mia was placed under British control and Syria 
under French. Arabian nationalism, however, 
aims at the creation of a united Arabian state, 
wherein it comes in conflict with the interests of 
the French government and the aspirations of a 
portion of the inhabitants of Syria. The Mos- 
lems of Syria are in sympathy with the Pan- 
Arabian movement, and are supported by Great 
Britain. On the other hand, the majority of the 
Christian Syrians, especially in the Lebanon, de- 
sire autonomy under a French protectorate. 


* The relations between the new Arabia and the 
Zionists of Palestine are very friendly. While the 
Christian Syrians are generally opposed to a 
Jewish Palestine, the Arabs of the Hejaz are in 
full accord with the Zionist leaders. An entente 
was even concluded between Dr. Weitzman, the 
head of the Zionist Commission in Palestine, and 
Prince Feisul, representing the Arab government, 
in June, 1918. Even more cordial relations 
were established between the Arabs and Arme- 
nians. The former, operating east of the Jordan, 
rescued a number of Armenian refugees, men, 
women, and children, deported by the Turks to 
the Syrian desert. Boghos Nubar Pasha, head of 
the Armenian Delegation, sent the following mes- 
sage to Shereef Feisul: 

**To the noble born Emir Feisul, — We have just 
learned of the rescue of our unfortunate fellow- 
countrymen through the efforts of your gallant 
troops in Southern Syria. May God bless and 
prosper the progress of your arms. The chival- 
rous act of the noble Moslems who fight under 
your banners adds fresh luster to the annals of 
the Arab race. Every Armenian throughout the 
world is to-day an ally of the Arab movement; 
the praises of your clemency and the justice of 
your cause shall be known wherever we can make 
our voices heard." 

The Lord Mayor of London and the English 
Friends of Armenia also sent congratulatory mes- 


sages to Emir Feisul. A reply was received from 
the King of the Hejaz which, coming from the 
chief religious authority in Mecca, throws a new 
light on Mohammedanism as practiced in the new 
Arabia. It read: 

''Your kind message to Feisul, of which I have 
heard, is a proof of good will and affection. We 
pray God to make us worthy of your kind thoughts. 
Feisul, in assisting the oppressed, has only per- 
formed one of the first duties of our religion and 
of the Arabs' faith. I say with confidence and 
pride that the Armenian race and other races in 
similar plight are regarded by us as partners in 
our fortunes in weal and woe. We ask God be- 
fore everything to give us strength to enable us 
to do them helpful service by which to prove to 
the world the true feelings of Islam, whose watch- 
word is freedom. May God preserve you in health 
and bring your desires to a successful attainment 
by His help and favor. ' ' 



The Jews are unique among the resurrected 
nationalities of the world. They are the only 
race not in physical possession of its motherland 
to rise to nationhood. Scattered all over the 
earth, inhabiting every country of the Old and 
New World, the Jews have retained their racial 
characteristics in all foreign environments. Since 
the day they went into exile, more than eighteen 
centuries ago, they never ceased to pray for their 
return to the Land of Israel. Although regarded 
by the nations among whom they lived as a relig- 
ious sect, the Jews, in fact, were always a people 
with distinct national aspirations. It is only in 
recent years that portions of the Jewish race in 
the West began to abandon their nationalism and 
keep their identity as a religious group only. But 
of the twelve million Jews in the world, there are 
hardly more than a million who have completely 
assimilated themselves with their adopted coun- 
tries. The rest may not aU be ardent nationalists 
anxious to return to Palestine, but they are all 



Jewish nationals by nature, being exiles in spirit 
and strangers wherever they live or go. 

The preservation of the Jew in exile will always 
remain one of the marvels of history. The last 
Jewish state disappeared in A. D. 70, when the 
Roman general Titus captured Jerusalem, but 
the end of Jewish political hopes did not come till 
sixty-five years later. In 132 the Jews of Pales- 
tine rebelled against Rome under the leadership 
of Bar Cochba, who was declared to be the Mes- 
siah by the leading rabbi of the time. The rebel- 
lion was at first successful, Jerusalem was freed, 
the Temple partly restored, and many of the 
Jews who had left the Holy Land rallied around 
the banner of Bar Cochba. However, his rule did 
not last more than three and a half years. A 
powerful Roman army finally defeated the rebels 
in 135, after desperate resistance, in which six 
hundred thousand Jews perished in battle. 

The Dispersion reaUy began with the destruc- 
tion of this last Jewish political government, al- 
though large colonies of Jews were already scat- 
tered throughout the Roman Empire. Jerusalem 
became a forbidden city, where no Jew was al- 
lowed. The remnant of the Palestinian Jewry 
erected several centers of learning north of the 
capital. The task of these rabbinical schools was 
to evolve a set of laws interpreting the Old Testa- 
ment which would keep the Jews from losing their 
faith and national aspirations in Dispersion. A 


similar seat of learning came into existence in 
Babjdonia, then a Persian dominion. A large 
Jewish colony there for a time attained self-gov- 
ernment under the leadership of the exilarch, who 
claimed descent from the house of David. The 
Babylonian Jews, like those of Palestine, devoted 
themselves to the study of jurisprudence. The re- 
sult was two sets of the Law, or Talmud, one called 
the Jerusalem and the other the Babylonian 

While the religious-national force created by the 
rabbis undoubtedly was a great factor in preserv- 
ing the Jews in Dispersion, especially in the first 
centuries of our era, an economic torce soon de- 
veloped which contributed greatly to the same ef- 
fect. Tom from their soil, persecuted and driven 
from place to place, the Jews were compelled to 
turn to trading as a means for daily existence. 
Thus developed the Jewish aptitude for business. 
It was encouraged by the conditions which the 
Christian communities among whom the Jews 
lived imposed upon them. The segregation of the 
Jews, the creation of certain quarters in the 
ancient cities for this wandering race, naturally 
promoted their seclusion and their cohesion, as 
well as their devotion to traditions and prejudices 
which in other circumstances would have gradu- 
ally vanished. 

The Jews spread westward, to Byzantium, 
Eome, France, Spain. The rise of Mohammedan- 


ism and the Arabian tide gave strong impetus to 
the Jewish Dispersion, although the Jews fared 
much better under the Arabs than among the 
Christians. The Arabs overran, and settled in, 
the surrounding countries. Palestine, Syria, 
Mesopotamia, Egypt, Morocco, Spain became 
Arab dominions. The Jews in Mesopotamia con- 
tributed greatly to the magnificent civilization 
which arose in Baghdad, under the caliphate, in 
the Middle Ages. In science and in trade they 
were among the leaders, and their brethren in 
Spain achieved even greater success. "The dis- 
tinctive feature of the Spanish- Jewish culture," 
writes Israel Abrahams, "was its comprehensive- 
ness. Literature and affairs, science and state- 
craft, poetry and medicine, these various expres- 
sions of human nature and activity were so har- 
moniously balanced that they might be found in 
the possession of one and the same individual. 
The Jews of Spain attained to high places in the 
service of the state from the time of the Moorish 
conquest, in 711. . . . So, too, the greatest Jew 
of the Middle Ages, Maimonides, was a Spaniard. 
In him culminates the Jewish expression of the 
Spanish-Moorish culture; his writings had an 
influence on European scholasticism and contrib- 
uted significant elements to the philosophy oft 
Spinoza." (Encyclopaedia Britannica.) 

Christian persecution of the Jews assumed am 
organized form during the Crusades. In France, , 


Germany and England colonies of Jews had been 
established early and were the sole agents of trade 
between the East and the West. The Crusades 
not only resulted in hundreds of eJewish massa- 
cres, due to the religious frenzy of the Christians, 
but also brought with them economic ruin to the 
Jews. A class of traders sprang up among the 
Christians which soon found itself in competition 
with the Jewish settlers. This economic cause was 
one of the leading forces responsible for the suffer- 
ing of the Jews in Dispersion in the past thousand 
years. The Jew came to a country and was en- 
couraged by its rulers to engage in trade. After 
playing the role of the commercial pioneer, he 
found himself sooner or later surrounded by na- 
tives who had learned to compete with him. Then 
the Christian traders would resort to all means to 
bring about the persecution or expulsion of the 
Jew from their midst. 

Not infrequently the Jews would be expelled 
from a country and soon afterward invited again 
by its rulers. The latter were always in need of 
money. The Church, by prohibiting Christians to 
engage in money-lending and restricting the occu- 
pations open to the Jews, forced the Jews to turn 
to usury. In some countries this was the only 
trade they were allowed to engage in, so that the 
reigning houses utilized the Jews for the purpose 
of extracting from their subjects the funds neces- 
sary to sustain their courts. The money that the 


Jew accumulated by usury went to the royal fam- 
ily, but tlie stigma of usurer and the hatred of 
the populace were fastened upon him. 

Where the Jew was given a free opportunity to 
live, he soon proved a builder of commercial 
empires. Baghdad reached its powerful position 
in civilization under the rule of the tolerant 
caliphs, when the Jews enjoyed full liberty of 
conscience and action. Portugal and Spain be- 
came great civilized empires when the center of 
Jewish life shifted there. The Inquisition, which 
resulted in the expulsion of hundreds of thou- 
sands of Jews and the death of tens of thousands 
more, was the greatest blow to Spain and Portugal 
themselves. The Jewish rabbis anathematized the 
two countries, and to this day no orthodox Jew 
will step on their soil. With the departure of the 
Jews, many of whom had been forcibly baptized, 
the decline of Portugal and Spain set in, so that 
to-day these two countries are the most impover- 
ished in Europe. All the recent efforts of the 
Spanish government to cause an influx of Jews 
into Spain proved futile, so deep-seated is the 
Jewish memory of the Inquisition. 

From Portugal and Spain the Jew went in 
large numbers to Holland, France, Italy, Germany, 
Austria, Poland, Turkey. With the arrival of the 
Jews, welcomed by the Dutch government, the 
Netherlands rapidly rose to the first maritime 
power in the world, superseding Portugal and 


Spain. England, after having expelled the Jews 
in the fifteenth century, now adopted a friendly 
attitude, and in 1655 Cromwell reached an agree- 
ment with the leading rabbi of Amsterdam, Man- 
asseh ben Israel, whereby the Jews were permitted 
to return to Great Britain. The Spanish and Por- 
tuguese Jews who settled in England contributed 
no small share to the building of the British Em- 
pire. Meanwhile the Jews in the East were suffer- 
ing persecution. They were herded in ghettos and 
restricted in the commonest rights. Their only 
means of existence in such countries as Poland 
and Germany, for instance, was to buy the favor 
of the various ruling princes and magnates. Hated 
by the people, despised by their royal and feudal 
protectors, the Jew had to rely on his wits and 
developed certain traits of character which have, 
not entirely disappeared yet in those countries, 
such as Rumania, Poland, Russia, where he is 
still smarting under religious, political or eco- 
nomic disabilities. 

The emancipation of the Jew really began to- 
ward the end of the eighteenth century, although 
in such countries as England, Holland, Italy and 
especially Turkey the Jew had previously enjoyed 
much freedom. The American Revolution gave 
considerable impetus to the movement. A Jew, 
Robert Morris, played a leading role in the found- 
ing of this Republic, as financier of the War of 
Independence. It was due to loans secured by 


him from the French and to money advanced by 
himself and borrowed on his credit that Wash- 
ington was enabled to transfer his army from 
Dobbs Ferry to Yorktown in 1781. In the same 
year, in distant Austria, Emperor Joseph removed 
many of the disabilities binding the Jews, allow- 
ing them to learn handicrafts, to study arts and 
sciences, and to some extent even to engage in 

Then came the French Revolution. In 1807 
Napoleon summoned a Jewish Assembly in Paris. 
The revolutionary movement throughout Europe 
in 1848 resulted in the complete emancipation of 
the Italian, Austrian and Scandinavian Jews. 
Only in Russia, where the bulk of the Jews found 
themselves after the amiexation of the greater 
part of Poland by the Tsars, and in Rumania, 
were the Jews deprived of elementary rights and 
allowed to live only in certain limited areas. Dur- 
ing the reign of Nicholas I, the ' ' Iron Tsar, ' ' cruel 
attempts were made to Russify the Jews by force. 
Their children were abducted and entrusted to 
special organizations to be raised as Christians. 
There was a breathing space for the Russian Jews 
during the rule of Alexander II, the liberator of 
the serfs in 1861. In 1878, by the Treaty of Ber- 
lin, the Rumanian Jews were emancipated. But 
this was never more than a paper emancipation. 
In 1881, with the accession to the Russian throne 
of Alexander III, one of the blackest periods of 


Jewish history was begun. The era of pogroms, 
expulsions and restrictive laws began. It soon 
produced several very important effects. First, a 
stream of emigrants commenced to flow from the 
East to the United States, Canada, South America, 
England, South Africa. It grew in volume as the 
persecutions and the pogroms multiplied, so that 
toward the end of the first decade of the present 
century the volume of Jewish emigration from 
Russia, Poland and Rumania reached an annual 
figure of a quarter of a million. Second, the Rus- 
sian-Polish Jews identified themselves with the 
various revolutionary movements, playing leading 
parts in all of them. Third, the modern Zionist 
movement, aiming at the restoration of the Jewish 
nation in Palestine, was bom. 

In the course of centuries of wandering the Jew 
never stopped hoping for the appearance of the 
Messiah, who would lead all the scattered sons of 
Israel back to the Holy Land. At various times, 
in response to the innermost Jewish aspirations, 
false Messiahs appeared, quickly gathering about 
them large followings. Thus in the 8th, 12th and 
16th centuries the Jews were misled by impostors, 
and in the 17th century the whole Jewish world 
was profoundly shaken by the rise of one Sabbatai 
Zevi, who declared that he was the long-awaited 
Messiah. But the movement born in Russia in 
1882 was a modern effort essentially. Groups of 
Jewish students and enthusiastic nationalists 


raised the banner of a Jewish homeland in Pales- 
tine and went there to till the soil and found colo- 
nies. These pioneers revived the ancient Hebrew 
and proclaimed it as the tongue of the coming 
Jewish state. The difficulties they encountered 
were many. But, supported by organizations of 
"Lovers of Zion," formed in Russia, they grad- 
ually made progress. 

Meanwhile in Western Europe, where the Jew 
by virtue of his enjoyment of equal rights pene- 
trated into every branch of trade and industiy and 
climbed to the very top of the financial, political 
and learned world, the anti-Semitic movement was 
born. It started in Germany and reverberated 
powerfully in France. The ancient ritual murder 
accusation, which originated in the early days of 
Christianity, when it was leveled against the 
Christians, was revived, and made much use of in 
Austria, Rumania and Russia. This gave rise to 
national sentiments among the Western Jews. In 
1896 there appeared a pamphlet, called ' ' The Jew- 
ish State," in German, English and French. Its 
author was a Vienna journalist, Theodore Herzl. 
It made a great sensation, and was rapidly trans- 
lated into many other languages. Dr. Herzl, a 
fiery personality, advocated the departure of the 
Jews from Europe and their formation in Pales- 
tine, under Turkish suzerainty, of a republic. The 
response to Dr. Herzl 's project was universal and 
instantaneous. In 1897 there met in Basel, 


Switzerland, the first Jewish congress, represent- 
ing Jews from all over the world, of all classes 
and beliefs. It laid the foundations of political 
Zionism, adopting as its official aim the *^ estab- 
lishing for the Jewish people a publicly and legally 
assured home in Palestine. ' ' 

The Zionist movement made great headway 
among the Russian, Polish and Rumanian Jews. 
Dr. Herzl had audiences with Sultan Abdul 
Hamid, the Pope, British and Russian ministers, 
but failed to secure a ' ' charter ' ' of Jewish auton- 
omy in Palestine from Turkey. The British gov- 
ernment offered to him a section of East Africa 
for Jewish colonization. Dr. Herzl favored the 
acceptance of the proposal, but the Eastern Zion- 
ists, who were in the majority, rejected it. In 
1904 Dr. Herzl died, and for some years the Zionist 
movement was in confusion. Meanwhile Jewish 
colonies were being founded in Palestine and the 
Hebrew language, mainly through the efforts of 
Ben Yehuda, a philologist who devoted his life to 
the task, became the spoken tongue of thousands 
of Jews everywhere. Newspapers and magazines 
were published in Hebrew, and modern poets and 
novelists and dramatists infused a new spirit into 
the tongue of the Prophets. 

At the outbreak of the Great War there were 
more than twelve million Jews in the world. In 
Russia alone, including Russian Poland, there 
were six million Jews. In the United States there 


were three million. In Austria-Hungary and Ger- 
many there were another two million. The rest 
were scattered all over the earth. In the recon- 
structed Europe the majority of the Jews will be 
found in Poland, less than four million. The 
Jewish problem in Russia is thus transferred to 
Poland, where the relations between the Jews and 
the Poles are unfortunately strained. 

The war caused untold suffering to the Jew. 
Three-quarters of a million of Jewish soldiers 
were impressed into the Tsar's armies. Hundreds 
of thousands of Jewish homes were wiped out and 
millions of old men, women and children set wan- 
dering. While the Russian, German and Austro- 
Hungarian revolutions brought at first new free- 
dom to the Jews, the class-struggle which broke 
out in those countries proved ruinous to the 
middle classes, where the majority of the Jews 
belong. All this stimulated Jewish nationalism. 
The collapse of Turkey gave even a more violent 
impetus to Zionism. Early in the war a Jewish 
volunteer unit cooperated with the British in the 
Gallipoli campaign. Later a Jewish Legion was 
recruited in the United States and Great Britain, 
and participated in General AUenby's Palestinian 
campaign. On November 2, 1917, Arthur J. Bal- 
four, British Secretary of State for Foreign Af- 
fairs, addressed a note to Lord Rothschild in which 
he made the following declaration on behalf of the 
British government: 


''His Majesty's govermnent view with favor 
the establishment in Palestine of a national home 
for the Jewish people, and will use their best en- 
deavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, 
it being clearly understood that nothing shall be 
done which may prejudice the civil and religious 
rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Pal- 
estine, or the rights and political status enjoyed 
by Jews in any other country." 

Similar assurances were made by the govern- 
ments of France, Italy, Greece, Serbia, Holland, 
Siam, and finally by President Wilson, although 
the United States was not at war with Turkey. 
Then followed a remarkable demonstration of 
unanimity on the part of all Jews in favor of a 
home for the Jewish people in Palestine. Those 
Jews who had completely identified themselves 
with their adopted countries, as well as those in- 
tellectual and laboring elements who believed only 
in proletarian internationalism, recognized that 
half of the Jews in Europe were in such an 
economic, political and cultural state as to welcome 
a return to Palestine and the establishment there 
of a Jewish national home. The overwhelming 
majority of the Zionists, however, feel that such 
a state cannot be evolved in a short period, and 
favor British protection and guidance. One of 
the greatest diflSculties ahead of the Zionists is 
to be found in the Arab population of the Holy 
Land. These Arabs have no national conscious- 


ness, but their rights cannot be ignored. The 
Zionists have therefore concluded an entente with 
the King of the Hejaz, the new Arabian state. 
However, the Syrians will not recognize the Jew- 
ish claims to Palestine. The situation is compli- 
cated by the fact that the Syrian claim to hege- 
mony over the Palestinian Arabs is denied by the 
Arabian kingdom of the Hejaz. 

Nahum Sokolov, one of the Zionist leaders, 
thus defined the territorial aspirations of Zion- 
ism: "We ask not for the greater Palestine of 
Solomon, but simply for the tract of country be- 
tween our ancient boundaries and Beersheba, or, 
in modern terms, from the River Kishon to El 
Arish. Westward our limit will be the sea. East- 
ward it may well be that the new Arabian king- 
dom will preclude our extension beyond the River 
Jordan, which would thus form our eastern boun- 
dary. ' ' 



Syria in Arabic means the ' * Regent of the Sun. ' ' 
In the European languages Syria is employed to 
designate several things. Thus, the geographical 
definition of Syria comprehends a strip of terri- 
toiy, a hundred and fifty miles wide, on the eastern 
coast of the Mediterranean Sea, the northern 
boundary of which is the Taurus range, the south- 
ern limits — the Sinai Peninsula, and the eastern 
border — Mesopotamia and the Syrian Desert. 
This territory includes Palestine and the Lebanon. 
But Syria politically is a very loose term. The 
Syrian nationalists seek to define it along geo- 
graphical lines. Premier Lloyd George divided it 
into two separate domains when he announced on 
January 5, 1918, that ''Arabia, Armenia, Meso- 
potamia, Syria and Palestine are in our judgment 
entitled to a recognition of their separate national 
conditions. ' ' Foreign Minister Pichon, of France, 
divided it into three political realms when he de- 
clared on December 29, 1918, that ' ' our rights are 
incontestable in Armenia, Syria, Lebanon, and 



Palestine." The term Syria employed in these 
pages excludes Palestine. 

The difficulty of determining Syria's political 
boundaries is primarily due to the fact that Syria's 
population is not an ethnic unit. The two and a 
half milhon inhabitants of Syria are extremely 
heterogeneous. What we call Syrians are, ethni- 
cally speaking, Arabs, Turks, Kurds, Greeks, 
Druses, Hebrews, Assyrians, Circassians, and 
people combining the blood of these various ele- 
ments. The larger part of the Syrian population 
is Arabian in origin and Mohammedan in religion. 
The Syrian Arabs are the most enlightened rep- 
resentatives of their race, and among the most 
advanced Moslems in the world. 

The number of religions in Syria is almost as 
diversified as that of its races. The Moslems are 
in the majority, but the Christians are a strong 
minority. The Greek Orthodox and Roman 
Catholic Churches have large f ollowings, with the 
latter predominating. There are some non-Chris- 
tian and non-Moslem sects in Syria, of whom the 
most notable is that of the Druses. Among the 
Catholics the most powerful and progressive ele- 
ment is that of the Maronites, of Assyrian origin, 
who form the vanguard of Syrian nationalism. 

The first great power to rise in Syria was Phoe- 
nicia, which nearly five thousand years ago built 
the cities of Tyre and Sidon and grew so rich that 
the Egyptians invaded it repeatedly for plunder. 

SYEIA 229 

The Phoenicians were great navigators and car- 
ried on extensive commerce with the West, found- 
ing many colonies. South of Phoenicia the Philis- 
tines, from whom the name Palestine is derived, 
established themselves, and were followed by the 
Hebrews, who maintained friendly relations with 
Phoenicia. Syria was in turn invaded and con- 
quered by the Assyrians and Babylonians and 
Persians. Alexander the Great invaded it next 
and many Greeks settled in the country, giving 
birth to a strong civilization, centering around 
Antioch. Then Syria was conquered by Tigranes, 
King of Armenia, and with his fall came Roman 
rule and subsequently that of Byzantium. Chris- 
tianity, originating in Palestine, spread early to 
all Syria. But the rise of Islam in the seventh 
century nearly wiped it all out. The Arabs in- 
vaded and conquered the country, settling there in 
large numbers. "When the title of the caliphate 
was assumed by the Ottoman rulers, Syria passed 
into the possession of Turkey. But the country 
retained its Arabian civilization, so that Arabic 
is the spoken and written tongue of most Syrians. 
During the Crusades the Christians in Syria came 
in touch with the Roman Church. The Maronites, 
who number about half a million and live largely 
in the Lebanon, resisted at first Rome's efforts to 
dominate them. At the beginning of the eighteenth 
century Louis XIV established French influence 
over the Maronites. In 1736 the Pope Clement 


XII recognized the Maronite Church, which has 
since remained an individual institution. In 1860, 
as a result of feuds between the Maronites and 
Druses, France was instrumental in obtaining 
autonomy for the Lebanon, to be exercised in 
agreement with the wishes of the western powers. 
Although the separation of the Church from the 
State in France led to a weakening of the French 
influence in Syria, new forces appeared to take 
the place of the official Catholic missionaries, — 
economic forces as well as cultural and political. 
The Syrians educated in French schools had pro- 
duced a number of gifted leaders who began to 
preach the doctrine of Syrian nationalism. They 
were naturally Francophile and France encour- 
aged their activity. At the same time France ini- 
tiated a policy of economic penetration into Syria. 
She constructed there hundreds of miles of rail- 
road. The number of French schools in the 
country was equal to that of all the other nations 
combined. At the outbreak of the war hundreds 
of Syrians volunteered their services to France. 
The progressive elements in Syria are mainly 
recruited from the students of the Greek Ortho- 
dox, Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican, and 
Presbyterian schools. But the Moslems in Syria 
have also made considerable progress. A na- 
tional consciousness has manifested itself among 
all Syrians, regardless of faith. Thousands of 
Moslems, for instance, who had emigrated to 

SYRIA 231 

America to accumulate some money, returned 
later to their native villages and cities. These 
would invariably bring with them a higher state 
of civilization and a realization of international 
conditions, contributing greatly to the spread of 
Syrian nationalism at home. While the Syrian 
Christians produced several brilliant nationalist 
leaders the Moslems did not lag much. One of 
them. Sheikh Abdul-Hamid Zehrawi, played an 
important role in the Syrian nationalist movement. 
He was executed by the Turks in 1915 in Damas- 
cus, together with nineteen other prominent Syr- 
ians including officers, magistrates and journal- 
ists, for instigating an insurrection against the 
Ottoman government. 

The Turkish misrule in Syria forced hundreds 
of thousands of Syrians to leave their country. 
About three hundred thousand of them came to 
the United States and Mexico. Nearly half a mil- 
lion are said to have settled in South America, 
especially in Brazil. They support a large num- 
ber of native publications, as well as numerous 
churches. Young Syria, at home and abroad, pro- 
duced a large number of literary persons, and 
Syrian poetry has achieved both great beauty 
and depth. 

Syria was martyred by the Turks in the course 
of the Great War. Court martials established at 
Aleppo, Damascus and Beyrout sentenced to death 
thousands and to terms of imprisonment tens of 


thousands. As in the case of the other oppressed 
nationalities, these persecutions only solidified 
national feeling among the Syrians. A central 
committee was created in Paris, aiming at the 
complete severance of Syria from the Ottoman 
Empire and her erection into a distinct national 
entity under French protection. However, while i 
the Syrians are all agreed as to the idea of sep- 
arate national existence, while they are almost 
unanimous in the belief that their country is not 
yet in a condition to function as an independent 
state, they are by no means agreed as to the power 
under whose aegis Syria should be placed. Per- 
haps the majority of the active Syrian nationalists 
are for a French protectorate. However, there are 
those who would like to see Great Britain assume 
control of Syria. Another faction, largely hail- 
ing from the United States, is clamoring for an 
American protectorate. In a speech delivered to 
the Central Syrian Committee in Paris, several 
months before the British occupation of Syria and 
the collapse of Turkey, Sir Mark Sykes, the noted 
authority on the Near East, said : 

"Now suppose that the Turks are ejected from 
Syria, suppose that the Allies have saved Syria, 
but that the people are not united (I mean the 
intellectual leaders of the people), what mil hap- 
pen then? If you are not united some sort of 
a Government will have to be imposed upon you, 
and a Government which is imposed has neither 

SYEIA 233 

the strength nor the stability of a Government 
which is desired by the people. I see Syria start- 
ing on a life with a Government which is not 
congenial, with agitation and discontent at the 
root of everything. It is therefore of the great- 
est importance that there should be a firm will 
and a policy for unity among Syrians. You are 
dispersed among the nations, many of you live 
in Paris, others at Marseilles, yet others in Lon- 
don and others in Manchester. Many of you have 
made your homes in the towns of America, and 
there is a large Syrian colony in Egypt. Unite 
yourselves and you will become a powerful politi- 
cal force, and if you want a program I will dic- 
tate one to you. In the first place, you must do 
away with the negative policy of the Turks ; that 
which is intolerable in Armenia is equally intoler- 
able in Syria. In the second place, you must 
look to France for her indispensable aid, that aid 
which a people which has for so long been op- 
pressed needs before it is capable of standing 
alone. You must also demand the guarantees 
of the powerful countries of the world, so that 
you may not again be subjected to the tyranny of 
the Turks, which has reduced you to poverty and 
to discord. I imagine that all the religions and 
all the races of Syria can unite on such a pro- 
gram. As to you Syrians who have your full lib- 
erty, I assure you that you have an enormous 
responsibility with regard to those of your com- 


patriots, Moslems, Christians, or Druses, who are 
still in Syria, for these latter are unable to ex- 
press themselves or to organize." 

However, the ending of the Great War still 
found the Syrians divided. The successful British 
campaign in Syria, in cooperation with the forces 
of the Arabian kingdom of the Hejaz, introduced 
some new factors into the problem. The Syrian 
Mohammedans always preferred the British to 
the French. With the Arabs of Mecca advanc- 
ing with the British into Syria, British influence 
rose even higher. The son of the E^ng of the 
Hejaz, Shereef Feisul, came to Europe, after help- 
ing to rout the Turks from Syria, to press for 
the union of Syria with the Arabian kingdom of 
the Hejaz. It was even reported that Great Brit- 
ain favored such a solution of the Syrian prob- 
lem, as it would place Arabia, Palestine, Syria, 
Mesopotamia — the entire Arabian population of 
Turkey — under its influence. However, France 
proclaimed her ''incontestable rights" in Syria 
and the Lebanon. 

In January, 1919, the Syrians held a congress 
in Paris, and were addressed by M. Franklin- 
Bouillon, vice-president of the Foreig-n Affairs 
Committee of the French Chamber of Deputies. 
He appealed for unanimous support in ''defence 
of Syrian interests and the maintenance of French 
prestige in the Orient, where France for centuries 
has not ceased to work for the emancipation of 

SYRIA 235 

humanity." A strong pro-British current, how- 
ever, developed among the Syrians. A leader of 
this current stated his views as follows in the sec- 
ond year of the war, before the Arabian revolu- 
tion and the establishment of a national state in 
the Hejaz occurred, to Vladimir Jabotinsky, as 
quoted in his '* Turkey and the War" : 

''Before the war broke out it had always been 
an axiom with us that England did not want Syria. 
So the only alternative to Turkish rule, for those 
who did not believe in independence, was France. 
The Turkish menace to Egypt changed the whole 
situation. My friends from Cairo write me that 
now on all sides the conviction is growing that 
England will not be able to remain indifferent to 
the future of Syria. They think England will 
claim for herself the southern part of the Syrian 
coast, if not the whole of it. If it is true, then 
we Arabs have to reconsider our attitude. If we 
really have a choice between France and Eng- 
land, many of us would prefer England. We do 
not feel any particular love for either; as a mat- 
ter of feeling, our instinctive sympathy goes 
rather to the French than to the English. But 
the French rule is centralistic and tends to im- 
pose on the native population the French language 
and customs. England is incomparably more 
liberal. We have two examples before our eyes: 
Tunis and Egypt were occupied at the same time. 
Tunis has been completely 'Frenchified' in every- 


thing — administration, tribunals, schools, even re- 
ligious education; whilst in Egypt our national 
language plays a prominent role in schools and 
public life. This difference is eloquent enough. 
Besides, there is another consideration of no less 
importance. The population of the southern and 
eastern Mediterranean coasts who all speak Arab 
dialects and could form in the future a great 
united nation, have been cut up into sections un- 
der different rule: Morocco, Algeria and Tunis 
are French, Tripoli is Italian, Egypt is British, 
and now they are speaking of Syria about to be- 
come French. I think it is trop de morcellement. 
Many of us will certainly prefer Egypt and Syria 
to be one, under the same rule, and so consti- 
tute a powerful nucleus of Arab nationhood." 

The roads open before Syria are many. Some 
of them lead to autonomy under French, British, 
or even American protection. One proposal, 
emanating from Syrians in the United States, is 
to place Syria under the joint suzerainty of these 
three powers. Another proposal, sponsored by 
the Shereef of Mecca and many Pan- Arabian na- 
tionalists, is to unite Syria with the Hejaz. Still 
another plan would divide Syria into two parts, 
the Lebanon and Syria proper, putting the former 
under French and the latter under British guid- 
ance. Finally, there is the proposal to have a 
league of nations take charge of Syria and all 
similar countries. The Syrians all over the world 

SYRIA 237 

are agreed, however, on the need for ''the com- 
plete and permanent elimination of Turkish rule 
from Syria" and the introduction of self-govern- 
ment there imder some friendly guardianship. 



Mesopotamia occupies a central position in the 
Middle East. As a geographical term it embraces 
the territory through which the Tigris and Eu- 
phrates flow. As a political term it is somewhat 
narrower. It is bounded on the north by Kurdis- 
tan and Assyria, on the west by Syria, on the 
east by Persia, and on the south by the desert. 

It was in Mesopotamia that the great empires of 
Assyria and Babylon were founded. Persia, 
Greece and Parthia conquered it, ruling over it in 
turn till the rise of Rome. In the third century 
the Roman armies invaded Mesopotamia and for 
three centuries afterwards struggled with Persia 
for control over the land. Every wave of invad- 
ers left its traces in the blood of the population. 
Already in the first centuries of the present era 
large Arab colonies were established in Mesopo- 
tamia. Christianity spread early among the As- 
syrians, Arabs, and Jews, but it was of a kind 
which did not harmonize with the Roman Church, 
so that a split followed between these and the 
western Christians. 



Mesopotamia was in a state of ruin as a result 
of bitter strife when in the seventh century the 
Moslem Arabs overran it, spreading the new faith 
of Islam. Since then Mesopotamia has been Arab- 
ized to such an extent that the history of the coun- 
try in the years preceding the Arabian invasion 
still remains very obscure. In 762 the city of 
Baghdad was founded by the caliph Mansur on 
the west bank of the Tigris. It was built in a 
circle and became known as the round city. It 
grew so rapidly that in less than a century it con- 
tained a population of two million, becoming the 
greatest city in the world. The Arabian Caliphate 
of Baghdad became the leading civilized center 
not only in Islam, but in all Asia and Europe. 

Arts and science, commerce and trade attained 
nnpreceJented heights under the early Baghdad 
caliphs, and to the present day that Arabian civi- 
lization constitutes one of the marvels of history. 
What put an end to it was the arrival of the Turk. 
At first the Mongol invaders only destroyed the 
political power of the caliphate. As the religious 
capital in Islam Baghdad still continued till the 
thirteenth century to play an important part in 
the East. But then came the Tartars, and with 
them the end of the caliphate in Mesopotamia. 

Beginning with the sixteenth century Persia 
and Turkey struggled for control of Mesopota- 
mia. Baghdad changed hands several times, till 
it fell into the hands of Sultan Murat IV, in 1638, 


and central Mesopotamia thus came definitely 
under the domination of the Ottoman government. 
However, a century later it was turned by one of 
the Turkish governors into an autonomous king- 
dom. Persia then made an unsuccessful effort to 
recapture Baghdad. 

Central and Lower Mesopotamia were occupied 
by the British-Indian forces during the Great War. 
When the British entered Baghdad, they an- 
nounced that they would grant self-government to 
the population. The Mesopotamian Arabs, while 
strong bonds unite them with their brethren in 
Syria and the Hejaz, have not developed any con- 
siderable national movement as yet. However, 
many Arab chiefs in Mesopotamia soon allied 
themselves with the British against the Turks. 

Undoubtedly the greatest British accomplish- 
ment in Mesopotamia during the war was that of 
the Irrigation Department. From Basra to 
Baghdad the British carried out an extensive irri- 
gation scheme which redeemed hundreds of thou- 
sands of acres of land and won for them the last- 
ing friendship of the natives. The Political De- 
partment of the British Expeditionary Force was 
just as active. Speaking of its achievements in 
July, 1918, in the House of Commons, Lord Robert 
Cecil said: 

''Very satisfactory progress is being made in 
redeeming the country from the state of ruin into 
which it had fallen under the Turks. Thirteen 


Government primary schools, four municipal 
State-aided schools, a teachers' training school, 
and a survey school have been opened; extension 
classes in agriculture have also been started. The 
local demand for education is very insistent, and 
is being met as rapidly as the supply of teachers 
will permit. Large tracts of land hitherto untilled 
have been brought under the plow through the 
combined efforts of the people and the Political 
Administration ; use has been made of mechanical 
tractors and artillery horses, which have supple- 
mented the ordinary means of cultivation. The 
opening up of the country by road, rail, and im- 
proved water transport, and the establishment 
of security on the highways, have resulted in an 
increase of trade and a lowering of prices of com- 
modities. The contrast between the improved con- 
dition of Mesopotamia and that of the neighbor- 
ing country occupied by the Turks, where disorder 
and famine are chronic, has not failed to impress 
the population and its leaders, the local notables, 
and tribal chiefs. The relations between our 
troops and the people are excellent, and a spirit 
of harmony and co-operation prevails. The opin- 
ion is frequently expressed that the British peo- 
ple mean well by the Arab race. Turning to the 
operations of the forces of our Ally, the King of 
the Hejaz, the casualties inflicted on the Turks by 
the Arab armies along the line between Dera'a and 
Ma 'an amount to about 2,000, in addition to which 


two locomotives have been destroyed, 122 culverts 
and bridges demolished, and railway communica- 
tion between those two points permanently inter- 
rupted. In the interior, five Turkish convoys, ag- 
gregating 1,500 camels, have been captured by the 
Shereef Ali, and a severe defeat has been inflicted 
on the Emir of Hail by the Shereef Abdulla. ' ' 

In the subsequent operations of Arabian forces 
in Palestine and Syria, in conjunction with the 
movement of General Allenby, Mesopotamian 
Arabs participated. This linked them more 
closely with the Arabs of the Hejaz, whose aspira- 
tion is a union of all their nationals under the 
aegis of the Shereef of Mecca. However, the Brit- 
ish program, as announced by Lloyd George in 
January, 1918, called for a separate Arabian gov- 
ernment, under British protection, in Mesopota- 

*'The Arabs," according to a British writer, 
' ' though torn by tribal dissensions, have a strong 
feeling of kinship and are united by their oconomic 
interests. Nomad chiefs who own land in the 
Tigris and Euphrates valleys are naturally pre- 
disposed to a British occupation which makes their 
property more secure, and therefore more val- 
uable. One nomad who feels that he has gained 
by our advent is likely to impress the fact on the 
others, and we may be sure that all Arabia has 
by now a shrewd idea of the superiority of British 
control over the misrule of the Turk. These con- 


siderations are greatly strengthened by the in- 
nate antagonism between Turk and Arab, and by 
the Hejaz revolt, which has shown that the Turk, 
although a Moslem, can be lawfully fought by 
other Moslems. It will be seen, then, that the 
British armies in Palestine and Mesopotamia 
have already exerted a marked influence over the 
whole of that vast region which separates their 
fields of action, and that there is nothing fantas- 
tic in the program of freeing the Arabs which 
General Maude announced in Baghdad." 

Four solutions of the Mesopotamian problem 
have been suggested. The first is contained in 
the understanding between England and France, 
whereby the former was to set up an autonomous 
native administration in Mesopotamia under Brit- 
ish protection. The second is to be found in the 
effort of the kingdom of the Hejaz to incorporate 
Mesopotamia with Western Arabia under the 
Shereef of Mecca. The third is the claim of some 
Syrians that Mesopotamia and Syria be united, 
in view of their geographical and economic inter- 
dependence. The fourth is the proposal to estab- 
lish a native government in Mesopotamia under 
the immediate guidance and protection of a league 
of nations. If there ever was any sentiment in 
Mesopotamia for re-union with Turkey, it van- 
ished with the surrender of the Ottoman govern- 
ment to the Allies. There are no physical or 
spiritual ties between the Turks and Arabs. 


Syria and Armenia divide Turkey from Mesopota- 
mia. The Arabs realized that their stagnation in 
the past several centuries was due to Turkish rule 
and saw in the removal of this rule the beginning 
of a new epoch in their history. 


The Assyrians are the descendants of the 
ancient race which thousands of years ago built 
the mighty empires of Assyria and Babylon on 
the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates. Only a 
handful of the Assyrians remain. They inhabit 
the Zorgas highlands, where the Great Zab, a 
tributary of the Tigris, has its source, as well as 
the cities of Urumia and Mosul. The present 
homeland of the Assyrians may be defined as the 
triangle between Urumia (on the lake of the same 
name), Mosul, and the southern extremity of Lake 

Only those Christian Assyrians who are known 
to the civilized world as Nestorians have become 
identified as Assyrian nationals in the West. But 
there are in Assyria a number of half -Moslem and 
half-Christian sects who are usually regarded by 
foreigners as Arabs or Kurds, but who really are 
Assyrians. In addition there are the Jacobites, 
another Christian Assyrian sect living in Syria 
and Armenia, and a large Assyrian colony in In- 
dia. All these various elements of the Assyrian 



race have up to 1914 manifested no concerted 
national consciousness. However, in the course 
of the Great War a remarkable movement origi- 
nated among the Assyrian immigrants in the 
United States, where they number about twenty- 
five thousand. They organized societies, founded 
some periodicals, and began to press their histori- 
cal claims, seeking autonomy under the protection 
of the Great Powers. 

Before the World War broke out there were not 
more than three-quarters of a million of Assyrians 
of all descriptions in Turkey, Persia, and Russia, 
of whom more than two hundred thousand were 
Nestorians. Nearly three-quarters of a million 
more are said to inhabit the Malabar Coast of In- 
dia. With these distant brothers included, the 
Assyrians number not more than a million and 
a half, the remainder of a once-powerful nation. 

There is no question that historically the Assy- 
rians have a perfect claim to the land they inhabit. 
Forty-five hundred years ago their forefathers 
lived in it and from it spread out and conquered 
many kingdoms and peoples. The Bible records 
the deeds of the Assyrian rulers. It was in 606 
B. C. that Babylon and Media combined to over- 
throw Assyria. However, it maintained a semi- 
independent state until Persia overran it. Then 
came the Roman, Byzantine and Persian empires. 
The Assyrians first embraced Christianity during 
the Apostolic period, and were gradually convert- 


ed in the course of tlie first centuries. The new re- 
ligion brought upon them the ire of the Persians, 
who considered it a challenge to their own faith, 
Zoroastrianism, or fire-worship. At the close of 
the third century the Persians began to persecute 
the Christians under them. The Assyrians were 
massacred in large numbers. In one district alone 
a hundred and sixty thousand Christians suffered 
martyrdom. Hundreds of thousands migrated to 
India. In the fourth century a Persian Emperor, 
seeing the obstinacy with which the Christians 
stuck to their faith, decreed that ' ' the Christians, 
unless they would consent to worship the Persian 
deities, should be required to pay an invariable 
tax levied on each individual." At the beginning 
of the fifth century the Christians in Persia en- 
joyed a period of rest under the leadership of 
Bishop Maruthas, who rendered valuable service 
to the Persian Emperor by carrying on successful 
negotiations with the Roman Emperors. 

From the sixth to the eighth century the Assy- 
rians converted many Asiatic races to the Nesto- 
rian Church, exercising wide influence until the 
rise of the Caliphate of Baghdad, which was estab- 
lished by the followers of the new religion of Is- 
lam. The Baghdad Caliphate was the center of 
Arabian civilization for several centuries, and the 
Assyrians enjoyed its protection, although their 
church lost its power and decayed. In the thir- 
teenth century the Mongol hordes emerged from 


the East, wrecking Arabian civilization and sack- 
ing Baghdad. The Assyrians fled to the Zogras 
Mountains and established a patriarchal seat at 
Julamerk. Under their patriarchs the Nestorians 
have maintained not only rehgious but also a cer- 
tain amount of political autonomy. 

In 1834 the American Presbyterians sent the 
Eev. Justin Perkins to do missionary work among 
the Nestorians. An American mission, consisting 
of a college and a hospital, was later established 
in Urumia. The American missionaries were fol- 
lowed by an Anglican mission sent by the Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury and by some Russian Ortho- 
dox workers. The last were more political in- 
triguers than missionaries. By promises of 
special Russian protection to the Nestorians, they 
won many of them over to the Orthodox Church. 

The war brought terrible disaster to the Assy- 
rians. At first the relations between the Kurds 
and the Assyrians were undisturbed, and in the 
winter of 1914-15 there was peace in the Taurus 
highlands, although in January, 1915, the Turks 
had captured the Persian city of Urumia and held 
it for several months. * ' Then, in March, ' ' accord- 
ing to Philips Price, ' ' two Assyrians arrived with 
news from Russia at Kochanes, the village of the 
Patriarch. Russia, they said, would come and 
take the Assyrian highlands, and liberate the 
Christians groaning under the tyranny of the 
Turk. The Cossacks would be here any time now; 


guns, ammunition, money, all would be forthcom- 
ing; only let them rise up now against the com- 
mon enemy of Christendom." The Assyrians 
were undecided. Then Turkish agents appeared 
among the Kurds and urged them to rise to the 
defense of the Sultan. The Kurds also hesitated. 
' * If we go to the Turks they will take us and make 
us serve in Europe and Gallipoli. Let us rather 
stay in our homes, or if we must fight, then let us 
fight our neighbors and get all the loot we can." 
This they proceeded to do as soon as some of the 
Assyrian tribes went to join the Russians, and 
war was thus declared by the Kurds against the 

Meanwhile the Turkish army under HaHl Bey, 
which held Urumia, was defeated by a Russian 
force at Salmas, Persia, and retreated, which 
made it possible for the Russians to re-enter 
Urumia in May. What followed was thus de- 
scribed by a correspondent of ''The Near East" 
in April, 1918 : 

"The next Turkish offensive, in June, was an 
attack, led by the Vali of Mosul, against the high- 
landers of the Mar Shimun (the Assyrian Patri- 
arch). The latter defended their narrow valley 
against the invaders with the utmost valor. But 
the Turks had with them some mountain artillery, 
so that they were able to battle down the resist- 
ance offered by the castles and churches; and at 
length the Assyrians were forced to abandon their 


valleys and to take refuge for three months in the 
fastnesses of almost inaccessible mountains. Here, 
amid the clouds, they preserved their freedom, but 
they ran short of supplies. With a handful of 
trusty warriors their brave Patriarch betook him- 
self through untold perils to the Russian lines at 
Salmas, Persia, to secure assistance. The fall of 
Warsaw, however, had so weakened the Russians 
that for the moment they were unable to render 
effective aid; consequently Mar Shimun was 
forced in November, 1915, to lead his needy flock 
down to the plateau of northwestern Persia. 
They scattered throughout the plains of Salmas 
and Urumia; but here they did not find food 
enough to go round; and they also lacked houses 
and winter clothing. In those high altitudes, 
where snow is plentiful, their sufferings were in- 
tense, and within three months fifteen per cent, 
of the refugees had died of disease or of starva- 

''In January, 1916, Mar Shimun visited the 
Grand Duke Nicholas, Commander-in-Chief of the 
Russian Army of the Caucasus, who received him 
with the honors due to the head of a Church and 
of a nationality. The Russians requested the As- 
syrian Highlanders to help defend the border 
against the Turks and Kurds. As late as October, 
1917, the Assyrians held the Castle of Chal, only 
fifty miles from Mosul. But the withdrawal of 
the Russian forces has brought great disaster to 


the Assyrians, and thousands of women and chil- 
dren are threatened with extermination." 

From America and England large sums of 
money were transmitted to Urumia to succor the 
many thousands of ruined and hungry Assyrians. 
But even more noble were the indefatigable efforts 
of the American missionaries, Dr. Shedd and Dr. 
Packard, who literally saved thousands of lives 
through their influence with the Kurds. "Dr. 
Packard," writes Philips Price, ''is six feet tall, 
with the eye of an eagle and the courage of a lion. 
He has traveled during the past thirteen years in 
every remote valley of this wild Turco-Persian 
borderland ; he is intimately acquainted with every 
tribal chief of the Kurds, and can go among the 
fiercest and most intractable of them, such is his 
moral hold over these men, his medical skill, and 
the confidence which they place in a man who is 
not engaged in political intrigue." 

A typical instance of the American missionary 's 
work occurred early in 1915, when the Kurds fell 
upon the Assyrian Christians after the Russian 
evacuation of Urumia and massacred and plun- 
dered thousands of them. Two thousand Assyr- 
ians were besieged in one village by the Kurds. 
Dr. Packard, at the risk of his life, ''went straight 
to the Kurdish chief commanding the besiegers, 
and begged him in the name of humanity to spare 
the Christians, telling him that Mahommed had 
never countenanced cruelty, and had always taught 


his disciples to be kind and merciful. The effect 
of a personal appeal for mercy from one who in- 
spires confidence even in a wild mountaineer was 
instantaneous. The Christians were liberated on 
condition of giving up their arms." 

The Assyrians sustained a great loss when the 
head of their Church, Benjamin Mar Shimun, was 
killed in March, 1918. However, a successor was 
promptly elected and, under him, they made an 
effort to effect a junction mth the British forces 
in Mesopotamia. 

The numerical weakness of the Assyrians neces- 
sarily renders their problem small and easy of 
solution. The crying Assyrian need is security 
against attacks from the Kurds, Persians, Tar- 
tars and Turks. But neither do the Assyrians 
wish to be incorporated in the new Armenia, as 
some Armenian nationalists desire. The Rev. 
Joel Werda, President of the Assyrian National 
Association in the United States, referring to the 
movement for an Armenian- As Syrian union, said : 

''It is needless to say that this will be an utter 
impossibility. The Assyrians have no imperial 
dreams, nor the thought of conquest. What the 
Assyrians desire is a portion of their own land, 
it matters not how small, with an outlet to the 
sea. The mountains of Kurdistan (the so-called 
Assyrian highlands), together with the plains of 
the province of Mosul, with the Tigris giving us 



an outlet to the sea, and a guarantee that we 
would be protected from persecution and further 
atrocities, would be sufficient to satisfy the rea- 
sonable desire of the Assyrian nation. ' ' 

VI ^ 

KuEDisTAN, the land of the Kurds, comprises 
mainly the Taurus mountain range which divides 
Armenia from Mesopotamia. West of Kurdistan 
is Cilicia, to the oast of it is the Persian province 
of Azerbaijan. Of the two million Kurds that 
lived in Turkey in 1914, more than half inhabited 
the Taurus highlands. Another million were sub- 
jects of Persia and Russia. 

The Kurds are considered the original inliabi- 
tants of Kurdistan, having inhabited the Taurus 
mountains since the dawn of history. Already in 
the days of the Assyrian empire they led a sepa- 
rate national existence. Ancient Media was 
largely a Kurdish power. Later they fell under 
Persian influence, and absorbed much of the Per- 
sian culture. The Kurds, although converted to 
Islam, resisted the domination of the Baghdad 
Caliphs in the ninth and tenth centuries. Kurdis- 
tan reached its height under Saladin in the twelfth 
century, when it became a vast kingdom extending 
as far as Egypt and Yemen in the south and the 
Black Sea in the north. 



With the arrival of the Turks in Middle Asia, 
the larger portion of the Kurds fell under their 
sway. However, they retained till the nineteenth 
century virtual tribal independence. Eussia's 
victorious pressure in Transcaucasia encouraged 
them to revolt, but Turkey subdued them in 1834 
and placed them under Turkish administrators. 
Nevertheless Kurdistan still remained an autono- 
mous country, ruled by Bedr Khan Bey, a power- 
ful chief. In 1843 Bedr Khan Bey made an effort, 
at the head of a large force, to drive the Turkish 
administration out and set up in Kurdistan and 
the adjoining Armenian districts an entirely in- 
dependent kingdom. He failed, but his movement 
was the beginning of modem Kurdish nationalism. 

What gave a strong impetus to Kurdish nation- 
alism was Armenian nationalism. The latter was 
encouraged by Eussia during and after the war of 
1877-78, Turkey therefore proceeded to encour- 
age the Kurdish chief, Sheikh Obeidulla, to set up 
a Kurdish principality and to propagate Kurdish 
nationalism, so as to create hatred between the. 
two races, in which alone was there safety for the 
Ottoman hold on the Kurdish- Armenian lands. It 
is an established fact that up to 1877 the Kurds 
and the Armenians got along well together. But 
after the race animosity had been aroused, Turkey 
resumed its oppression of the Kurds, even as Eus- 
sia had suspended its pro-Armenian policy and 
began to persecute its Armenian subjects. 


After the Turkish Revolution of 1908 an agree- 
ment was reached between the Armenians and the 
Kurds to support the Young Turkish government. 
It is significant that the Kurds were the first to go 
over to the opposition when the Young Turks 
adopted the pohcy of Ottomanization for all the 
races of the empire. Shortly before the outbreak 
of the war in 1914 the Turkish authorities hanged 
in Bitlis one of the last semi-independent chiefs 
in Kurdistan, Sheikh Seyid Ali of Khizan, for 
fomenting revolution. 

When early in 1915 Turkish emissaries came to 
the Kurds to incite them against the Christians, 
they held out to them again many attractive prom- 
ises. The Kurdish invasion of the plains of Uru- 
mia, in which the Assyrians suffered so much, 
was perpetrated, writes Philips Price, ''partly 
with a view to loot, but also, as far as the tribal 
chiefs were concerned, with the idea of creating a 
large Kurdish kingdom, with themselves as the 
rulers. It was undoubtedly a quite spontaneous 
movement, called forth by the steady growth of 
nationalism among the Kurds during the last 
thirty years; but it is curious that it coincided 
with the plan of Enver Pasha and the Young 
Turks, set forth at the Erzerum Conference of 
September, 1914, to create a chain of buffer states 
under Ottoman suzerainty between Russia and 
Turkey. Religious fanaticism probably played a 
much smaller part in the movement than in previ- 


ous years. The governing factor throughout 
seems to have been nationality. It was in fact the 
desire on the part of the Kurds to realize them- 
selves as a unit in human affairs; and that idea 
was far more powerful than the idea of Jihad 
(Holy War)." 

Mr. Price is probably the only European writer 
with an up-to-date knowledge of the Kurdish prob- 
lem. In his observations in ''War and Revolution 
in Asiatic Russia" he continues as follows on the 
subject of the Kurds : "Their chief mode of life is 
cattle and horse-raising, for which abundant moun- 
tain pasturage is necessary ; so a very large part 
of them live as nomads, taking their flocks up to 
the alpine meadows for the Summer, and retiring 
in Winter to sheltered valleys in the foothills. 
Being a strong and virile race, their numbers are 
continually increasing, the pressure of population 
and the insufficiency of pasturage thus making it 
necessary for them to expand. The deserts of 
Mesopotamia do not attract them, owing to the 
absence under Turkish rule of any development of 
irrigation in the basins of the lower Tigris and 
Euphrates. On the other hand, to the north in 
Armenia they find upland plateaux, where indus- 
trious Armenian peasants grow corn, while on the 
Persian table-land fertile oases abound, where 
rice and the vine flourish. Everything at- 
tracts them northward, and this is one of the 
prime causes of political disorders in Greater Ar- 


menia and northwest Persia, and can only be dealt 
with by development of the irrigated lands of Mes- 
opotamia, so as to give the Kurds a chance to 
migrate south. . . . This necessity of the Kurds 
for expansion is one of the most potent causes of 
their national unrest. It is the absence of a guid- 
ing and controlling hand that has turned this 
natural movement into undesirable channels. 

''It is customary in Europe to look upon the 
Kurd as cruel and bloodthirsty by nature, and 
given to creating disturbances for sheer deviltry's 
sake. But when a race is situated in a countiy 
lying between two greedy empires, both contin- 
ually intriguing, bribing, threatening, invading, 
and always thinking more of their own selfish 
imperial interests than of the interests of the 
people they are dealing with, is it likely that such 
a race will fail to develop the character of fickle- 
ness toward foreigners'? There is only one way 
to secure the peace and development of Kurdis- 
tan, and that is by the exercise of a little honesty, 
that quality so rare in diplomacy. If the govern- 
ing power deals fairly with the natives, improves 
roads, irrigates the land, and builds schools, the 
object of which is not merely to teach the children 
garbled history about their own country, the 
natives will then become confident, and turn their 
activities to works of production rather than of 
destruction. ' ' 

Tlie creation of an autonomous Armenia would 


cut Kurdistan off from Turkey. The collapse of 
the Russian empire and the establishment of au- 
tonomous Georgian and Tartar republics in Trans- 
caucasia abolished the Russian sphere of influence 
in Persia. To unite resurgent Kurdistan with weak 
Persia would be a sure sign of future wars in the 
Middle East. To let the newly created Armenian 
state rule Kurdistan would doom Armenia to 
quick internal destruction. Armenia as it is, 
drawn along strictly ethnographic lines, would 
include a large number of Kurds. The incorpora- 
tion of Kurdistan in it, would mean the creation 
of an Armenian state in which there were two 
Kurds to one Armenian. There remains the so- 
lution of creating a united Kurdish government 
in Kurdistan, under the protection, and with the 
aid, of the Great Powers. Such a solution would 
stabilize the new Armenia, it would give the 
Kurds their rights, and would insure the develop- 
ment of a civilization in Kurdistan. 


The word Armenia, to which the Armenians owe 
their name, is said to have been derived from the 
two words ar (land) and meni (mountain) — the 
land of mountains. Strictly speaking, however, 
Armenia is a plateau, with an elevation of about 
six thousand feet, lying between the Taurus moun- 
tain range in the south and Anti-Taurus range in 
the north. The Armenian plateau, running from 
the east to the west, is easily accessible from Asia 
and Europe, forming a sort of a highway in times 
past between Central Asia and Greece. 

Above the Armenian tableland rises the cele- 
brated Mount Ararat, on which, according to the 
Old Testament, Noah's ark rested. ''When Noah 
stood on Ararat, ' ' picturesquely observes Edward 
C. Little, "the great plateau of Armenia lay all 
about him. To the northeast he could see the 
fertile and beautiful valley of Araxes running 150 
miles to the salt waters of the Caspian Sea. To 
the southwest were the f ountainheads of the Tigris 
and the Euphrates, and the hills and valleys and 
the plateaux extending to the waters of the Medi- 



terranean in the vicinity of Tyre and Sidon. To 
the northwest was the Black Sea, and later the 
famous city of Trebizond, while Persia lay to the 

Before the outbreak of the Great War, Armenia 
was divided among Russia, Turkey, and Persia. 
On the east the Armenians are bounded by Per- 
sians and Tartars ; on the north by Georgians and 
their Moslem half-brothers, the Lazes ; on the west 
by Turks and Greeks and Anatolians; on the 
south by Arabs, Kurds and Assyrians. These are 
only the main ethnic boundaries of Armenia. 

The real origin of the Armenians is shrouded in 
the haze of the early history of mankind. The 
Bible is replete with references to Armenia. It 
is not yet fully established whether the Armenians 
were the first inhabitants of Armenia or were an 
Aryan race that invaded the region of Ararat and 
assimilated its original population. According to 
Alexander Polyhistor, 175 B. C, the Armenians 
fought the Phoenicians twenty centuries before 
Christ, and conquered them. An Irish publicist is 
quoted to the effect that at the time of Phoenician 
commerce with the West, Armenian traders were 
among them, — that every Irish name one meets 
ending in an, such as Brian, O'Callaghan, Sheri- 
dan, as well as the Cornish names of Trevelyan, 
Tresillian, and others, are but the remains of the 
Armenian termination ian. 

When Armenia emerges from the zone of doubt 


we find her a subject territory of Persia. Four 
liundred and eighty years before Christ an Ar- 
menian force was included in the hordes of Xer- 
xes when he w^arred against Greece. Alexander 
the Great, in his conquest of Persia, acquired Ar- 
menia and made it a Macedonian province, ap- 
pointing a Persian as its Governor. Upon the 
death of Alexander the Great, when his huge em- 
pire was divided, one of his generals, Neoptole- 
mus, took possession of Armenia, in 323 B. C. 
This was the beginning of the political indepen- 
dence of the Armenians. With few interregnums, 
the Kingdom of Armenia had more than seven- 
teen centuries of existence. 

The golden age of Armenian history was the 
reign of Tigranes the Great, 94-56 B. C. He ex- 
panded his dominions in every direction, conquer- 
ing the neighboring kingdoms. At the zenith of 
his career Armenia had a population of about 
thirty million. Tigranes became known, accord- 
ing to his coins, as King of Kings, and was the 
mightiest monarch in Asia. His power, however, 
came in conflict with the ambitions of Rome. 
''Tigranes made the Republic of Rome tremble 
before his prowess," wrote Cicero. Rome sent an 
army to conquer Armenia and subdue Tigranes. 
The gTeat Armenian ruler was defeated and made 
a vassal of Rome. Upon his death he was suc- 
ceeded by his son. At about the same time Parthia 
became Rome's rival and Armenia was turned into 


the field upon which East and West struggled for 
supremacy. Later, in 226 A. D., the Persians con- 
quered Parthia, and Annenia reverted to Persia. 

The earliest nation in the world to adopt Chris- 
tianity as a state religion was Armenia. The al- 
most instantaneous conversion to Christianity of 
the Armenian people occurred in 301 A. D., when 
King Tiridates of Armenia was converted to the 
new faith by Gregory the Parthian, called the 
Illuminator, after having been miraculously 
healed by him while suffering from a grave dis- 
ease. The king then proclaimed Christianity as 
the state religion. 

The life of Armenia as a Christian state was one 
of great service to the spread of Christianity in 
the world. Its newly adopted religion almost im- 
mediately provoked the hostility of the dominant 
power, Persia, which finally involved the Christian 
Emperor of Rome, Constantino the Great, in a 
struggle against Persia. The result, however, was 
the partition of Armenia, in 387 A. D. The Per- 
sians persecuted the Armenians for their faith. 
The Armenians resisted with all the fervor of 
their primitive religion, and developed through it 
that cohesion which bound them together into an 
unprecedented national unit. Nothing could re- 
duce the Armenians to a degenerative stage. 
Neither the hordes of the Persians nor the fanati- 
cism of the Mohammedan Arabs and Turks could 
destroy their spirit. During the Armenian 


struggle against the Persians, the latter attempted 
to induce them to give up Christianity and em- 
brace Zoroastrianism (fire-worship), to which the 
Armenians replied: 

^'From this faith, no force can move us, — 
neither angels nor men; neither sword, nor fire, 
nor water, nor any deadly punishment. ... If 
you leave us our faith, we shall accept no other 
lord in place of you; but we shall accept no God 
in place of Christ. If after this great confession, 
you ask anything more of us, lo ! our lives are in 
your power. From you, torments; from us, sub- 
mission ; your sword, our necks. We are no better 
than those who have gone before us, who sacrificed 
their wealth and their lives for this testimony ! ' ' 

The crisis in the Persian-Armenian struggle 
was reached in 451 A. D., when in the battle of 
Avarair sixty-six thousand Armenians defeated 
two hundred and twenty thousand Persians. This 
won for them religious liberty. Although still 
politically autonomous for two centuries after its 
partition, Armenia owed its preservation mainly 
to its Church. Already in the year 404 an Ar- 
menian alphabet had been devised, and in 433 the 
Bible was first rendered into Armenian from the 
Greek. That translation is still known as the 
'* Queen of Versions." The Church fostered Ar- 
menian letters breathing a national spirit, which 
contributed enormously to the preservation of the 


The first Arab wave to reach Armenia came in 
636, immediately after the death of the Prophet. 
Armenia passed swiftly into the hands of the 
Caliphs, who appointed Arab and native gover- 
nors to rule the country. In the ninth century one 
such governor, Bagratid Ashot, of Jewish origin, 
succeeded in consolidating part of Armenia into 
the Kingdom of Ani, of which he was crowned king 
by the Caliph Motamid in 885. Thus was founded 
the small but progressive Armenian state of the 
Middle Ages. 

In the tenth century Armenia underwent fright- 
ful treatment at the hands of the Arabs. The 
Christian nations were afraid of the Moslem 
hordes and did not come to the succor of Armenia. 
The country was desolated and the Armenians 
decimated. Hardly had it recovered from the 
Arabs when a new invasion, that of the Seljuk 
Turks, overran the Armenian lands. These bar- 
barians plundered the cities and villages, putting 
their inhabitants to the sword. Internal strife and 
warfare against the Georgians and the Greeks 
weakened the Armenian resistance, and finally the 
Kingdom of Ani succumbed to Toghrul Bey, the 
leader of the Seljuks, in 1064. The massacre of 
the helpless population of Ani was one of the 
bloodiest in human history. The ruins of the city 
of Ani still stand. Luigi Villari, who visited them 
in 1904, writes: 

*'l took leave of this mai-velous city. It shows 


evidence of a building power and architectural 
skill on the part of the ancient Armenians of the 
highest order, and enables us to realize that this 
people, in spite of the lamentable history of the 
last six centuries, is a nation with a noble past. 
To-day this spot, where proud kings once dwelt in 
splendid courts and held sway over prosperous 
lands and civilized subjects, where public life was 
active and vigorous, is a crying wilderness. . . . 
Is the state of Ani symbolical of that of the Ar- 
menian nation, and are they destined at last to 
disappear or be absorbed into other races, other 
religions! I do not think so, for with all the suf- 
fering and persecution they have undergone, they 
still preserve a vigorous national life. ' ' 

During the invasions the Armenians migrated 
to distant parts of Europe and Asia. Thousands 
flew to the mountains to escape being butchered. 
The wealthier and more enterprising elements 
went to Byzantium, to the northern shores of the 
Caspian Sea, to the Crimea, to Poland and to 
Moldavia. It was a dispersal from which Arme- 
nia has never recovered. The marvel of this 
period of martyrdom for the Armenian people was 
that any of them were left alive in their own 
country and able to perpetuate their national ex- 
istence. "For more than three centuries after 
the appearance of the Seljuk," observes a writer, 
''Armenia was traversed by a long succession of 
nomad tribes, whose one aim was to secure good 


pasturage for their flocks on their way to the 
richer lands of Asia Minor. The cultivators were 
driven from the plains, agriculture was destroyed 
and the country was seriously impoverished when 
the ruin was completed by the wholesale butcheries 
of Timur (Tamerlane)." 

Among the emigrants toward the end of the 
eleventh century was one Eupen, a relation of the 
last king of Ani. He founded a colony of Arme- 
nians in 1080 in the Cilician Taurus which devel- 
oped later into the kingdom of Cilicia and became 
known as Lesser Armenia. The first Holy Cru- 
sade was decreed by Pope Urban II in the year 
1095. Lesser Armenia, already waging defensive 
warfare against the Seljuks, generously co- 
operated with the Crusaders, for which her king, 
Gostandin, was knighted and subsequently created 
a marquis. Cilicia was ever ready to assist the 
Western Christians in their wars for the Holy 
Land. Had Lesser Armenia been supported by 
the Christian states in its strenuous efforts to re- 
sist the Ottoman movement westward, the Turk 
might never have played the role he did. Unfor- 
tunately the Byzantine Empire was unfriendly, 
even hostile to the Armenians, being desirous of 
absorbing the Armenian Church. The Armenians 
resisted domination by the Greek Church, as well 
as that of the Roman Church, which adopted a 
similar attitude, demanding the submission of the 


Armenian Episcopate to the rule of the Supreme 

"It may be said with absolute truth," writes 
W. L. Williams, ''that the chief difficulty en- 
countered by this tiny Christian State, this out- 
post of the Christian Church, during its whole 
career, arose from the determination of the two 
Christian organizations in the East and West to 
absorb this national Church which clung so obsti- 
nately to its own creed and to its separate and in- 
dependent existence. When after 300 years of 
struggle against foes within and without the 
Lesser Kingdom of Armenia disappeared and the 
political existence of this people vanished, it was 
in a large measure owing to the ecclesiastical in- 
trigues incessantly carried on by the Roman and 
Greek Churches. They weakened and rendered 
impotent the State at a moment when unity was 
called for, and the whole strength of the people 
was needed to meet their Moslem foes thundering 
at their gates." 

The Cilician kingdom was through the Cru- 
sades brought into close relations with France, 
and its kings even married into French nobility. 
After many vicissitudes the life of Lesser Arme- 
nia was ingloriously terminated. In 1375 she was 
invaded by the Mamelukes of Egypt and her king, 
Leo the Sixth, was taken into captivity. After a 
prolonged imprisonment he was released, came to 
Europe an exile a-nd died in 1393 in Paris, where 


he lies buried in the Abbey of St. Denis. Thus 
did the last vestige of Armenian independence 
pass away. 

The Tartar hordes were next to sweep over Ar- 
menia. In 1401 Tamerlane had left Asia Minor 
a frightful wreck. The Ottoman Turks followed 
the Tartars. Armenia was the first to suffer at 
the hands of the savage invaders that rushed 
from Central Asia toward Christian Europe. And 
still Armenia persisted in existing. If anything, 
the horrible ordeals which she underwent made 
her more invulnerable and fuller of vitality. As 
soon as an invader had passed, the Armenians 
would emerge from mountain crags and hidden 
valleys by the thousand to perpetuate their kind, 
to revive and restore their land, only to be again 
slaughtered and devastated by a new tide of in- 
vasion. For several centuries the Turks and the 
Persians battled on the fields of Armenia, soak- 
ing her soil with their blood and that of its in- 
habitants. In the seventeenth century a Persian 
king, retreating before the Turks, and fearing 
lest the latter should rescue the Armenians and 
use them against the Persians, decided to trans- 
fer the Armenian population to Persia. Hundreds 
of thousands of them were driven in front of the 
Persian army till they reached the River Araxes, 
over which there was no bridge. The Turkish army 
was rapidly moving against the Persians. The 
Commander of the latter. Shah Abbas, therefore 


ordered Ms forces to drive the Armenian multi- 
tude into the river, thus affording an opportunity 
to those who were able to swim to save their lives. 

In 1639 a treaty between Persia and Turkey 
transferred the eastern part of Armenia to the 
latter power. In that part was located the prov- 
ince of Erivan, the chief city of which, Etchmiad- 
zin, is the ecclesiastical and cultural center of 
the country. This section was in 1828 handed over 
by Turkey to Russia, whose interest in Armenia 
and the Armenians dated from 1722, when Peter 
the Great sent an expedition into Transcaucasia 
to capture Baku. Persecuted by the Moslems, the 
Armenians, through their patriarch, applied to 
Peter for permission to settle in the Russian do- 
minions. Since then Russia steadily pressed 
southward against Turkey and Persia, and the 
Armenians moved northward just as steadily, so 
that at the outbreak of the Great War there were 
more than a million and a half Armenians in 
Transcaucasia, a considerable portion of whom 
settled in Georgia and the Tartar districts in the 
vicinity of Baku. The differences among the Ar- 
menians, Georgians and Tartars in the Caucasus 
spring mainly from the peaceful Armenian con- 
quest of the region, just as the differences between 
the Armenians and their southern neighbors, the 
Kurds, are due to the pressure of the latter north- 

When Russia acquired Georgia at the beginning 


of the nineteenth century, it annexed a large Ar- 
menian population. In 1813 it occupied the Per- 
sian province of Karabagh and in 1829 the Turk- 
ish province of Akhaltsykh, both of which con- 
tained many Armenian communities. With the 
acquisition of the province of Kars from Turkey, 
in 1878, Russia's interest in the Armenians as- 
sumed definite form. The modern Armenian prob- 
lem may be said to date from that year. 

The Russo-Turkish treaty of San Stefano, 
which terminated the war of 1877-78, provided that 
Turkey should ' ' carry into effect, without further 
delay, the improvements and reforms demanded 
by local requirements in the provinces inhabited 
by Armenians and guarantee their security from 
the Kurds and Circassians." A Russian army of 
occupation was to see to it that this provision was 
carried out. However, Turkish diplomacy, sup- 
ported by Western powers, succeeded in annulling 
the treaty of San Stefano, and substituted that of 
Berlin. It was at the time a blow to Russia and a 
diplomatic triumph for Great Britain. ''Great 
Britain went further," according to the British 
publicist, W. L. Williams. ' ' By the secret Cyprus 
Convention (June 4, 1878), the Sultan promised 
to introduce necessary reforms ' for the protection 
of Christians and other subjects of the Porte' in 
Asia Minor. As the price for guaranteeing the 
integrity of Turkish territory in Asia Minor, 
Cyprus was ceded to Great Britain. Time and 


events have shown it to be one of the gravest 
political blunders in our annals. But what were 
its immediate practical effects 1 It encouraged the 
Armenians to look to the European Powers and 
not to Russia alone for protection; and the Con- 
vention, which did not mention the Armenians, 
was regarded as placing them under the special 
protection of Great Britain. It was a betrayal of 
the Armenians by the Power to which they were 
bidden to look for deliverance from the basest 
and cruelest tyranny." 

The protection given by Russia to the Arme- 
nians proved harmful to them. Already during 
the war of 1877-78 the Ottoman authorities insti- 
gated massacres of Armenians in Turkey who 
were suspected, not without reason, of being pro- 
Russian. A national movement was born among 
the Armenians. Secret organizations and connnit- 
tees were established in the large cities of Arme- 
nia, which were under the influence of nationalist 
societies formed in Paris, Geneva, and Tiflis. Rus- 
sia at first encouraged this Armenian movement, 
which was anti-Turkish, but not for long. During 
the reign of Alexander III the reactionary policy 
of the Tsar for Russia was gradually extended to 
all the dominions of the empire. The Caucasus 
did not escape the new era, and the Armenians 
were among the first victims, their schools and 
Church suffering from governmental persecution. 
The Armenians soon found themselves between 


two fires. Abandoned by their erstwhile protec- 
tor, the Armenians became an easier prey to the 
Turkish government, which executed a series of 
bloody massacres in 1894-96 that cost about one 
hundred thousand Armenian lives. i 

A large emigration from Armenia proper began 
in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. Tens 
of thousands of Armenians left for foreign coun- 
tries, while many more thousands migrated to 
European Turkey and Russia, where they adapted 
themselves quickly to new conditions and led in 
every field of endeavor. Writing in 1905, Luigi 
Villari called attention to the rise of a wealthy 
Armenian middle class. "We find them (Arme- 
nians)," he observed, "as bankers, merchants, 
shopkeepers, manufacturers, lawyers, doctors, 
teachers, engineers, and officials all over the Cau- 
casus, and even in European Russia. The Baku 
oil industry is largely due to Armenian enterprise ; 
at Tiflis, the ancient capital of Georgia, the Ar- 
menians form over a third of the population, have 
practically all the business of the town in their 
hands, own most of the house property, and con- 
stitute 80 per cent, of the town council. Even in 
the Russian army Armenians occupied high posi- 
tions; the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian 
forces in the Asiatic campaign of 1877 was Gen- 
eral Loris Melikoff, an Armenian from Lori, and 
one of his ablest lieutenants was General Ter- 
Gukassoff, also an Armenian. The same Loris 


Melikoff afterward became chief minister to Al- 
exander II ; he was all-powerful for a time, and is 
believed to have drawn np a constitution which 
would have been promulgated had not the Tsar 
been assassinated in 1881." 

Even in Turkey, in spite of all the persecutions, 
Armenians attained the highest places and hon- 
ors. According to Arshag Madhesian, the first 
newspaper ever published in Turkey was an Ar- 
menian periodical. The introduction of Turkish 
printing and the establishment of theaters were 
accomplished by Armenians. It was due to the 
collaboration of two great Armenian statesmen 
that the Turkish constitution was framed by Mid- 
hat Pasha. Armenian philologists evolved the 
Turkish grammar, while for many years the chief 
directors of the Turkish arsenals and government 
mint were Armenians. The fine stuffs, the em- 
broideries, the tapestry and the jewelry admired 
in Europe as Turkish products are declared to 
be almost exclusively manufactured by Armenians. 

The rise of a large Armenian bourgeoisie in 
Transcaucasia could not have occurred without 
the appearance of a proletariat there. The latter 
was, however, not entirely Armenian. The Tar- 
tars and other slow races of the Caucasus made 
up a large part of the labor class which became 
especially strong in the oil region around Baku. 
The racial difference between the Tartars and Ar- 
menians, accentuated by their religious difference. 


was therefore, broadly speaking, further empha- 
sized by an economic cleavage. The Russian 
bureaucrats knew how to make use of these differ- 
ences when the Armenians in Transcaucasia, 
thanks to numerous repressive measures carried 
out against them by Tsarism in 1896-1901, had 
been turned into active revolutionists. Race 
hatred was aroused by secret agents and Black 
Hundreds in the industrial centers, especially 
Baku, which resulted in the notorious pogroms of 
1905, when the Tartars fell upon the Armenians 
in southeastern Transcaucasia and massacred 
many of them under the very eyes of the Russian 
officials. Millions of dollars' worth of property 
was destroyed and thousands of lives were lost 
that year in the Armenian-Tartar fights. It was 
only in 1906 and afterward, when Georgian, Tartar 
and Armenian alike were subjected to Tsaris- 
tic oppression, that the Tartars realized that they 
had been used by the Russians to suppress the 
Transcaucasian revolutionary movement and 
strengthen the yoke of the Russian autocracy. 

The unsuccessful revolution of October, 1905, 
aroused among the Tartars a new outlook on life, 
while the Armenians found themselves more 
closely in sympathy with the struggling Russian 
people. In Turkey it embittered further the Ar- 
menian opposition toward the Ottoman govern- 
ment. But before long, in 1908, Turkey was trans- 
formed from a despotic autocracy into a consti- 


tutional monarchy. Abdul Hamid was deposed 
and the Young Turks were at the hehn. Naturally 
the Armenians turned toward Constantinople, 
hoping for a new era from the seemingly rejuve- 
nated Porte. The Turkish Armenians, mostly 
peasants and traders, arrived at a friendly under- 
standing with the Kurds, both parties agreeing 
to support the new government in the Turkish 
parliament. But the Young Turks, instead of sat- 
isfying the legitimate local demands of the various 
nationalities of the empire, embarked upon their 
disastrous policy of centralization and Ottomani- 
zation. The result was the alienation of the sub- 
ject races, the Arabs, the Syrians, the Kurds, and 
the Armenians. Many of the latter turned to Rus- 
sia, believing justly that sooner or later a free 
Russia would emerge, and that it would liberate 
the oppressed nationalities of the empire. 

Then came the Great War. The Armenians 
were about equally divided between Turkey and 
Russia. What happened in those early days of the 
world struggle has been told as follows by the 
only foreign observer in the Caucasus during the 
war, M. Philips Price, in his ' ' War and Revolution 
in Asiatic Russia": 

''Early in August, 1914, the Tiflis Armenians 
seem to have decided that a Russo-Turkish war 
was inevitable, and thereupon the Dashnakist (of 
the great Armenian party, Dashnaktsution) lead- 
ers there at once offered 25,000 volunteers to 


assist the Russians in conquering the Armenian 
vilayets. This offer was made before the out- 
break of the war with Turkey, and in the interval 
the volunteers were busy training and forming at 
the various centers in the Caucasus. At the end 
of October, when Turkey came into the war, prepa- 
rations had been so far advanced that Andranik, 
the famous revolutionary leader from Turkey, at 
the head of the first battalion, took part with the 
Russians in the advance through northwest Per- 
sia, capturing Serai early in November. Mean- 
while five more battalions had been formed and 
were ready to leave for the front, as soon as they 
could get rifles and equipment. Fifty per cent, 
of these volunteers were Armenians who had left 
Turkey, Bulgaria and Rumania since the out- 
break of the European war, and had come to the 
Caucasus to offer their services." 

The Ottoman government became anxious to ar- 
rive at an understanding with its Armenian sub- 
jects. Enver Pasha delegated three representa- 
tives to Erzerum, who proposed that Armenia stay^ 
neutral and that the Armenians remain loyal toi 
their respective governments, those of Russia and 
Turkey. The Erzerum Armenians agreed, but a; 
few days later the Turkish delegation made an- 
other proposal, intended to win all the Armenians 
over to the Ottoman side. They produced a 
scheme for the conquest of Transcaucasia and thei 
erection of a united autonomous Armenia, pro- 


vlded the Armenians allied themselves with the 
Porte. The skeptical Armenians refused to con- 
clude such a pact. The Young Turks then de- 
manded that the Armenians keep from going over 
to Russia and form anti-Turkish units there. But 
the Turkish Armenians were not influential 
enough to stop the activities of their Russian 
brethren in Tiflis, who claimed to have obtained a 
verbal promise of Armenian autonomy from the 
Russian government. It was this promise that 
made thousands of Armenians desert from Turkey 
and join the volunteers in Russia, which in turn 
formed the foundation for the series of unparal- 
leled atrocities perpetrated by the Turkish govern- 
ment upon its Armenian population. 
I The Turks resorted to the old method of insti- 
gating race hatred. The Kurds, who formed a 
very considerable portion of the population of 
Armenia, were, together with the Turks and other 
Moslems, incited against the Armenians. In 1915 
the Turkish and Russian armies executed several 
important movements on the Transcaucasian 
front, resulting in the destruction of many Ar- 
menian settlements when the Turks retreated and 
the wiping out of large Kurdish communities by 
the revengeful Armenians and Russians upon their 
advance. It was in 1915, therefore, that the Ar- 
menian-Kurdish struggle assumed a definite form. 
It grew so relentless in the following years that 
the two races simply waged a campaign of mutual 


exteiinination. Of course, the Armenians had 
against them the Ottoman government, which soon 
initiated, organized and carried out the systematic 
deportation and murder of entire Armenian com- 
munities. ''Homes were literally uprooted," 
wrote Henry Morgenthau, United States Ambas- 
sador to Turkey, of the persecutions. "Families 
were separated, men killed, women and girls vio- 
lated daily. Children were thrown into the rivers 
or sold to strangers by their mothers to save them 
from starvation. The facts contained in the re- 
ports received at the Embassy from absolutely 
trustworthy eye-witnesses surpass the most 
beastly and diabolical cruelties ever before per- 
petrated or imagined in the history of the world." 
The estimates of the number of victims differ 
greatly. It would, however, seem that not less 
than half a million and probably three-quarters 
of a million of non-combatant Armenians perished 
as a result of the Turkish-Kurdish massacres and 
persecutions. In retaliation probably a quarter of 
a million of civilian Kurds and Turks were exter- 
minated by the Russians and Armenians in their 
victorious advances of 1915 and 1916. Two years 
after the outbreak of the war, there were only 
800,000 Armenians left in Turkish Armenia out of 
a total of 1,800,000. Only 250,000 Kui-ds out of 
a total of 900,000 inhabiting the vilayets of Van, 
Bitlis, Erzerum and Kharput remained. Hun- 
dreds of thousands of the former saved themselves 



by moving into Transcaucasia, while similar num- 
bers of the latter were saved by migrating into 
Anatolia and Kurdistan. Nevertheless, the loss of 
human life in Armenia was appalling on both 

Meanwhile the Armenians in Russia not only 
failed to receive autonomy from the Tsar's gov- 
ernment, but were subjected to the reactionary 
measures from which all Russia suffered in 1916. 
This oppression created the ground for an under- 
standing among the Armenians, the Tartars and 
the Georgians. All the three nationalities of 
Transcaucasia were now opposed to the govern- 
ment and engaged in secret revolutionary activi- 
ties. When the Revolution finally came, in March, 
1917, the Caucasus was ripe for it. The old gov- 
ernors and officials were swept away with the first 
tide, and Grand Duke Nicholas, the Commander- 
in-Chief of the Caucasus armies, soon followed 
them into oblivion. The oppressed nationalities 
awoke to a new life. Revolutionary councils of 
soldiers, workmen and peasants sprang up 
throughout Transcaucasia. A joint executive 
council met in Tiflis. It supported the Russian 
Provisional Government until the rise of the Bol- 
shevik! to power in November, 1917, when the 
Russian army abandoned the Transcaucasian 
front and the Armenians were left to defend 

In January, 1918, there met in Tiflis elected rep- 


resentatives of the Georgians, Tartars and Ar- 
menians, and constituted themselves into a 
supreme Transcaucasian Diet. This did not pre- 
vent each of the three races from developing its 
own institutions and national autonomy. On Jan- 
uary 31 delegates representing most of the Ar- 
menian provinces met in Erzerum, where the Ar- 
menian legions were concentrated, and declared 
Armenian independence. Meanwhile Turkey had 
concluded a peace with the Bolshevist government 
at Brest-Litovsk by which Russia was compelled 
to cede to Turkey parts of the provinces of Batum, 
Kars and Ardahan, while the Ukrainian troops 
which occupied Trebizond retired as soon as their 
government concluded a separate peace with the 
Central Powers. Armenia and Georgia were 
directly affected by the pacts. A verbal agree- 
ment was reached between the Armenians and 
Georgians according to which the former were to 
defend the Erzerum line and the latter the Trebi- 
zond front. When the Turks advanced, how- 
ever, the Georgians did not show up at Trebizond 
and the Armenians were left alone to fight the 
Turks. They offered heroic resistance, but in 
March Erzerum fell and the Ottoman forces moved 
to occupy the provinces ceded to them at Brest- 

A crisis was soon reached in the life of the 
Transcaucasian Diet. The Tartars were not dis- 
posed to fight the Turks who had encouraged the 


Tartar national movement. The Georgians took 
the view that Transcaucasia was not in a condition 
to oppose the Turkish realization of the Brest- 
Litovsk provisions and the Armenians were ad- 
vised by Ghegechkori, President of the Diet, to 
drop all resistance. This advice was not followed 
by all the Eussian Armenians, who together with 
their Turkish brethren continued to harass the 
Ottoman invaders. The latter continued to ad- 
vance, occupying territory which had never been 
legally surrendered to them. This finally brought 
the Turks into conflict with the Diet, which ad- 
dressed to them a request for peace. The Turks 
demanded as a preliminary condition for peace 
negotiations "that the Diet should declare the 
secession of Transcaucasia from Russia and pro- 
claim the independence of the Caucasus, " so as to 
enable them to negotiate with sovereign peoples. 
The Diet agreed to do so against the protests of 
the Armenians, who thereupon left it in a body. 
In spite of the terrible ravages of forty months 
of war, the Armenians were able to offer such vio- 
lent resistance to the Turks that the Ottoman gov- 
ernment, in July, 1918, consented to sign a peace 
with the Armenians, recognizing the "Armenian 
Independent Republic of Ararat," with its capital 
at Erivan. 

Then, in October, Turkey surrendered to the 
Allies. The armistice provision calling for Allied 
occupation of the six Armenian vilayets in Turkey 


in case of disorder did not satisfy the Armenian 
nationalists as radical enough. They dispatched 
a military mission to the Allied countries, headed 
by General Torcom, who issued on November 12, 
at Archangel, before departing for western 
Europe, the following remarkable manifesto: 

"In December, 1917, the Russian armies of the 
Caucasus abandoned the Armenian front. On 
January 31, 1918, although having at our disposal 
only very limited forces, owing to the fact that the 
state of anarchy prevailing did not allow us to 
employ all our soldiers, but in full possession of 
a large part of Armenian territories, we solemnly 
proclaimed at Erzerum, in the presence of troops, 
the population, and the provincial Armenian dele- 
gates, the independence of Armenia, which in- 
cludes Greater Armenia, Lesser Armenia, and 
Cilician Armenia. 

"We placed these countries under the protec- 
tion of four Allied powers. Great Britain, the 
United States, France, and Italy. Deserted by the 
Russians, betrayed by the Georgians, and attacked 
on all sides by the Turco-German forces, Kurds, 
Tartars, and twenty other races intent on our ex- 
termination, we have fought with a handful of gal- 
lant soldiers for the independence of our country. 
We were away from our great western Allies, and 
were without the least possibility of receiving help. 
However, our faith in the final triumph of our 
cause, which was also the cause of all peoples out- 


raged by the barbaric Teutons, never failed 
us. . . . 

'*At the cost of innumerable difficulties I have 
crossed the vast Russian territory, which is seeth- 
ing with unrest. I now come to you charged with 
a sacred trust and mission. I bring to you the 
Armenian flag. My mission is to gather round this 
flag, which has become the emblem of our suffer- 
ing, our faith, and our burning thirst for liberty, 
an Armenian army of 100,000 men. We must help 
our glorious Allies to take possession from the 
Mediterranean to the Black Sea, of all Armenian 
countries, where our martyrs are to be counted by 
hundreds of thousands. 

''Armenians, I come to ask you to make the 
supreme effort. . . . Armenia does not wish to 
die. She wishes to become great, powerful, and 
respected. She desires, at least, to take her place, 
which has been so dearly bought, among civilized 
peoples. In order to bring to a successful end the 
work of attaining independence for Armenia 
amidst a ruined country, Armenia wishes every 
one of yon to do your duty. After having been for 
so long a sorrow-stricken witness of Armenia's 
martyrdom, the hour has at last struck when the 
entire world will look with admiration on the re- 
birth of Armenia." 

On December 4, 1918, the Armenian National 
Delegation, formed in Paris, under the presidency 
of Boghos Nubar, declared the independence of 


integral Armenia and Cilicia under the collective 
protection of the Allies and the United States. On 
December 29, Foreign Minister Pichon, of 
France, announced: "Our rights are incontest- 
able in Armenia, Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine. 
They are based on historic conventions and on 
more recent contracts. ' ' These contracts were the 
secret treaties and understandings concluded 
among the Allies in 1915-17, whereby France was 
' ' to guide the affairs ' ' of Armenia, Syria and the 
Lebanon. Pichon 's announcement occasioned a 
great stir among the Armenians, who protested 
strongly against being put, without their knowl- 
edge, under the protection of a single European 

The Armenians realize that without outside help 
they cannot expect to set up a durable government, 
but they wish it to come from international author- 
ity. However, even with the aid of the Allies and 
the United States it would be a most difficult task 
to define Armenia's exact boundaries ethnographi- 
cally. If Armenia should be reconstituted on his- 
toric lines, then against three million Armenians 
it would comprise at least five millions of Kurds, 
Turks, Greeks, Persians, and other races. It is 
possible to carve out an ethnographic Armenia in 
which the Armenians would be in the majority, 
but in order to do so successfully the Armenians 
would have to forget their historical claims and 
to consent to the creation of an autonomous Kurd- 


ish state in Kurdistan. As the Kurds in Armenia 
are still largely nomadic, the erection of an auton- 
omous Kurdistan would reabsorb the Kurds who 
migrated from there to settle on the Armenian 
plateau. An ethnographic Armenia would in- 
clude those parts of Georgia and Azerbaijan, 
where the Armenians predominate, although his- 
torically these parts are not Armenian; it would 
necessarily fail to include certain historical sec- 
tions of Armenia where the Kurds now predomi- 

Historic justice and a powerful national con- 
sciousness are the strongest arguments for Ar- 
menian independence. Culturally, the Armenians 
are unquestionably fit to lead in the development 
of the Middle East. Valery Brusov, the Russian 
poet, who has studied the Armenian literature and 
history, says that in spite of the horrors they have 
undergone in the course of their long history, the 
Armenians have created an original culture and 
have given to the world one of the richest liter- 
atures, unfortunately not sufficiently studied. 
"The greatest worth of the Armenian literature," 
he adds, ''lies perhaps in its lyrical poetry of the 
Middle Ages — a magnificent synthesis of sober 
Greek harmony and Oriental exuberance and 
splendor. There is no doubt that when it is 
brought to the knowledge of the great public, the 
lyrical poetry of Mediaeval Armenia will be rec- 
ognized as one of the treasures of humanity." 


The Armenian national will finds its strongest 
expression in Armenia's poetry and press. All 
over the world Armenian apostles of independence 
have carried the message of their people to the 
civilized nations. The passionate love for their 
country is the keynote of most of the modern Ar- 
menian poets. A fine example of this is presented 
by the following poem, from the pen of Khorene 
Nar Bey de Lusignan, a descendant of the last 
Armenian kings, and rendered into English by 
Alice Stone Blackwell: 

If a sceptre of diamond, a glittering crown, 
Were mine, at thy feet I would lay them both down. 
Queen of queens, Armenia! 

If a mantle of purple were given to me, 
A mantle for kings, I would wrap it round thee, 
Poor Armenia, my mother! 

If the fire of my youth and its sinews of steel 
Could return, I would offer its rapture and zeal 
All to thee, my Armenia! 

Had a lifetime of ages been granted to me, 
I had given it gladly and freely to thee, 
my life, my Armenia! 

Were I offered the love of a maid lily-fair, 
I would choose thee alone for my joy and my care, 
My one love, my Armenia! 

Were I given a crown of rich pearls, I should prize, 
Far more than their beauty, one tear from thine eyes, 
my weeping Armenia ! 


If freedom unbounded were proffered to me, 
I would choose still to share thy sublime slavery, 
O my mother, Armenia! 

Were I offered proud Europe, to take or refuse. 
Thee alone, with thy griefs on thy head, would I choose 
For my country, Armenia! 

Might I choose from the world where my dwelling 

should be, 
I would say. Still thy ruins are Eden to me, 
My beloved Armenia ! 

Were I given a seraph's celestial lyre, 
I would sing with my soul, to its chords of pure fire, 
Thy dear name, my Armenia ! 



It is only a little more than a century since the 
kingdom of Georgia lost its independence and was 
made a virtual province of the Russian Empire, 
and yet Georgia is a terra incognita to the West- 
em peoples. Among the minor races of the former 
Russian state the Georgians were one of the most 
progressive and vigorous national units. The 
Georgians are a people with rich traditions, a 
keen national consciousness, and a high state of 

The home of the Georgians is western Transcau- 
casia. They and their kindred races practically 
occupy the entire Transcaucasian coast on the 
Black Sea. In the south they adjoin the Arme- 
nians. In the east their neighbors are the Tar- 
tars. The Caucasus range is north of them. There 
are nearly two and a half million Georgians of 
all descriptions in Transcaucasia. The various 
Georgian tribes, speaking diverse dialects, have 
in recent years been fusing together and adopting 
one literary language. 

The Georgians belong to the Arj^an family. 

292 ^ 


They settled in their present country thousands of 
years ago, arriving from the great Iranian pla- 
teau. Their civilization is the oldest in the Cauca- 
sus, if not in the entire world. Physically they are 
the finest typification of the white race. The men 
are athletic and handsome, the women beautiful. 

The history of Georgia as an independent state 
goes back to biblical times. According to Geor- 
gian tradition, their kingdom was founded by a 
descendant of Noah. It was only during the third 
century B. C, however, that Georgia became iden- 
tified with recorded history. Alexander the Great 
conquered it and left one of his generals to rule 
it. This foreign government was overthrown by 
a national rising under the leadership of the popu- 
lar hero, Pharmabazes, who founded the first 
Georgian dynasty. In the second century B. C, 
his descendant was overthrown and the throne 
passed into the hands of an Armenian prince. The 
union with Armenia embroiled Georgia in a war 
with Rome. General Pompey invaded Georgia and 
subdued it, but not for long. Nearly two centuries 
later Rome w^aged another campaign against 
Georgia. In the third century a Persian prince, 
Miriam, by marriage succeeded the Armenian dy- 
nasty and established the Sasanid ruling house. 
It was during his rule that Georgia first received 
the Christian missionary named Nina. The 
Greek emperor sent a delegation of priests to bap- 
tize the Georgian king and people. Christianity 


was then introduced into Georgia, dividing its 
many tribes into Christian and non-Christian fac- 
tions. The latter came under the influence of Zo- 
roastrianism. With the support of Persia these 
waged bitter warfare against their Christian 
brethren, overrunning Georgia. It was a Persian 
general who founded, in 379, the city of Tiflis. In 
time the Christians gained ascendancy, and to- 
ward the end of the fifth century the fire-wor- 
shipers were subdued and Christianity firmly 
established. King Vakhtang Gurgaslan, the Wolf- 
Lion, 446-499, made Georgia a great power. He 
established a patriarchate at Mtzkhet, which was 
recognized by Emperor Justinian of Byzantium 
as an independent Church. 

Georgia was again menaced by Persia during 
the sixth century. The people appealed to Byzan- 
tium for help, which was furnished in the person 
of an Armenian prince named Guaram, who gov- 
erned Georgia as a Byzantine viceroy. He was the 
founder of the dynasty of Bagratids, which ended 
with the passing away of Georgian independence. 
Beginning with the seventh century Georgia was 
in turn invaded by Arabs, Turks, and Tartars. 
The country was split into many principalities. 
Until the year 1000 the Arabs dominated Georgia. 
It was freed and reunited by Kings David and 
Bagrat in the eleventh century, but was soon con- 
quered and devastated by the Turks, who were 
finally driven out in 1080 and a powerful Georgian 


state, embracing practically entire Transcaucasia, 
was erected by King David the Renovator. He 
laid the foundations of Georgian civilization, 
building churches, founding schools, encouraging 
arts and learning. His successor expanded 
the kingdom's boundaries. Georgia reached its 
height of prosperity and civilization under Queen 
Thamara, who ascended the throne in 1184. Her 
name is ''still venerated as a glorious, if half- 
legendary tradition wherever the Georgian tongue 
is spoken," writes Luigi Villari; ''almost every 
church and every castle is attributed to her, and 
a whole host of legends has gathered about her 
personality. . . . She waged war successfully 
against both the Turks and the Greeks, and after 
the fall of the Byzantine Empire at the hands of 
the Crusaders she helped to form the empire of 
Trebizond. But at her death, in 1212, the edifice, 
laboriously raised, crumbled once more." 

The Mongols appeared on the scene. The 
hordes of Genghiz Khan laid the country waste. 
Early in the fourteenth century Georgia recovered 
and prospered. But again the Mongols, under 
Tamerlane, swept over the land, devastating it 
with fire and sword. In the fifteenth century the 
Mongols were expelled by King Alexander I, who, 
at his death, in 1442, divided his kingdom among 
his three sons. One of these principalities, Kakhe- 
tia, applied to the Muscovite Tsar, Ivan III, for 
protection, in 1492, when the Turks and the Per- 


sians were playing havoc with Georgia. The Per- 
sians finally gained control and ruled through 
local princes. Early in the eighteenth century the 
Georgian king, Vakhtaug VI, reigning by the 
grace of the Persians, established close relations 
with Russia, hoping to free Georgia from the for- 
eign yoke and save his people from the fanatical 
Moslems. Vakhtang concluded an alliance with 
Peter the Great in 1722, declared his independence 
of Persia, and sent an army of thirty thousand to 
cooperate with the Russians against the Persians. 
Peter the Great betrayed the Georgians by making 
a separate peace with Persia in 1724, recognizing 
her suzerainty over Georgia, with an eye to the 
ultimate absorption of Georgia by Russia. The 
Turks, gaining power while the Persians were 
busy elsewhere, penetrated Georgia and compeUed 
Vakhtang to abdicate. However, shortly after- 
ward, the Persians expelled the Turks and placed 
Irakli II on the Georgian throne. This ruler was 
the last to raise his country again to a high state 
of prosperity. He is described as ' ' one of the most 
remarkable men of his time, who excited the ad- 
miration of all Europe; under him Georgia re- 
vived and prospered, and became for the last time 
a powerful and independent state. Culture and 
civilization spread, order and unity were achieved, 
and the neighboring Tartar khanates reduced to 
vassalage. ' ' 

He declared Georgia's complete independence 


when Persia collapsed. The Turkish danger, how- 
ever, compelled him to seek support in Europe. He 
sent two missions to Austria, but failed to obtain 
aid. He was compelled to turn to Russia, in 1769. 
Russia's policy toward Georgia was formulated 
by Catherine the Great as follows in her instruc- 
tions to the Russian representatives in the Cau- 
casus : ' ' Do nothing likely to strengthen Georgia. ' ' 
Following these instructions the Russians, having 
allied themselves with the Georgians against the 
Turks, deserted the former on the battlefield. 
After valiant fighting, with varying fortune, 
Georgia was at the mercy of the Turks and Per- 
sians. Tiflis, the capital, was captured in 1795 
and burned. Irakli died heart-broken in 1798, 
leaving a feeble kingdom to his son George, who 
was compelled to enter into negotiations with Tsar 
Paul, placing Georgia under Russian protection. 
A treaty was drawn up in 1799, providing for the 
transfer of Georgia to the Russian Empire, on 
condition that "the crown" was to be vested in 
George and his heirs, who were to retain the chief 
authority in the country, but without legislative 
powers; the people were to enjoy immunity from 
taxation for twelve years ; the number of Russian 
troops in Georgia was not to exceed six thousand, 
and military service for the Georgians was to take 
the form of a national militia; the Georgian 
Church was to be independent, and Georgian was 


to remain the official and educational language." 
(Luigi Villari.) 

The treaty was utterly disregarded by Russia 
and in 1802 Georgia was by military force turned 
into a Russian province. There was discontent 
and rebellion, but the imperial policy was carried 
out in typical fashion. Arrests, persecutions, ban- 
ishments followed. In time even the Georgian 
Church and its funds were put in charge of the 
Russian Holy Synod. The Russification of 
Georgia was systematically carried on by the 
Tsar's authorities. Nevertheless, Georgia pros- 
pered under Russian rule. Many of its sons rose 
high in the councils of the Empire, distinguishing 
themselves in diplomacy, military leadership and 

Georgian nationalism, however, was not sup- 
pressed by the Russian policy. With the growth 
of a revolutionary movement throughout Russia 
there also developed one in Georgia. At first it 
took a national turn only, fostered by the aristo- 
cratic classes. The latter are highly educated, 
and even among the common people illiteracy is 
low. It has been said that proportionately the 
Georgian nation has more men of letters, journal- 
ists, poets and dramatists than any other race in 
the world. Toward the end of the nineteenth cen- 
tury Socialism began to spread in Georgia, making 
remarkable headway. It aimed primarily at the 
semi-feudal landlords, as well as the limited in- 


dustrial plants which had developed in Georgia 
in recent years. The Socialists became a great 
force in Georgia, embracing in their ranks the 
peasants, workers and intellectuals. 

Owing to the fact that the Georgian middle- 
class is small and the aristocracy naturally in the 
minority, the Socialist elements practically con- 
trolled the destinies of the country during the rev- 
olutionary year of 1905. The former strove for 
separation from Russia, advocating complete in- 
dependence for Georgia. However, the Social- 
ists stood for union with democratic Russia, some 
of them claiming autonomy in an all-Russian fed- 
eration. All Georgians were united in their oppo- 
sition to monarchism. All desired the republican 
form of government. It was from the midst of 
the Socialists that there sprang into being the 
so-called Gurian Republic, which attracted inter- 
national attention in the year of 1905. The 
Gurians are described as "the bravest and most 
warlike, most chivalrous, most handsome, most 
hospitable, most educated, although not the most 
unpractical of the Georgians." They were pro- 
foundly stirred by the Socialist doctrine and de- 
termined to put it into practice in their district, 
Guria, in the province of Kutais. They began with 
refusing to pay their annual taxes to the Russian 
authorities; they proceeded to boycott the gov- 
ernment officials and set up a communistic admin- 
istration ; they established native schools in which 


Socialism was taught and introduced popular 
tribunals in place of the corrupt Russian courts. 
The whole economic, political and social status of 
the race was modeled after the latest socialistic i 
theories. In the fall of 1905, when Tsarism was 
baffled by the revolutionary movement, a radical 
was appointed to the governorship of Kutais. 
However, he was removed when the tide of re- 
action followed, and even arrested and accused of 
high treason. The ' ' Gurian Republic ' ' became the 
target of the reactionary government. Cossacks 
and infantry were sent to suppress it, causing 
terrible bloodshed. It was finally wiped out and 
thousands of Georgians were jailed and exiled. 

The revolution of 1917 occurred almost simul- 
taneously in Petrograd and the Caucasus, while 
preparations had been made for a general strike. 
These were not carried out because of the swift- 
ness of developments in the Russian capital. The 
imperial authorities in the Caucasus fell two days 
after the abdication of the Tsar. 

Although before the Revolution Georgian 
nationalism was being encouraged by the Russian 
governors for the purpose of maintaining the dif- 
ferences existing among the three nationalities of 
Transcaucasia, the Georgians, Tartars and Arme- 
nians, March 18, 1917, saw one of the most wonder- 
ful manifestations of international brotherhood 
in Tiflis. All the tribes, races and classes of 
Transcaucasia united in celebrating the great 


freedom, sinking all past quarrels. The Georgians, 
the most advanced and civilized national elements 
there, led in the formation of a Transcaucasian 
federation. The councils of workmen and peasants 
that sprang up everywhere, from Baku to Batum, 
gave birth to a central provisional government — 
the ^^Commissariat." The Georgians were the 
guiding spirit of it, and they were for a union with 
a federated Russian Republic. In the Provisional 
Government during the Lvov-Kerensky period and 
in the then moderate Soviets, several gifted 
Georgians labored incessantly to stay the tide of 
Bolshevism and create a democratic Russian state 
founded on the principle of federation. 

When the Russian Provisional Government was 
overthrown by the Bolsheviki in November, 1917, 
the Transcaucasian "Commissariat" decided to 
strengthen the Georgian-Armenian-Tartar union 
by convoking a Diet or general assembly. It met 
in January, 1918, at Tiflis, and comprised about 
120 members, representing all the racial groups of 
Transcaucasia. However, it soon faced a crisis. 
The surrender of Russia at Brest-Litovsk, by 
which Turkey obtained parts of the provinces of 
Batum, Kars and Ardahan, introduced the element 
of dispute in the Diet. The Armenians wanted to 
fight the Turks. The Tartars declared that their 
ethnical and spiritual relations with the Turks 
were such as to welcome them as friends. The 
Georgians, while hostile to Turkish encroach- 


ments, considered that the best way out was to 
wait for the ending of the Great War. Some 
Georgians, however, did promise the Armenians 
military aid in a campaign against the Turks, but 
the Armenians never received it. 

The Turks then invaded Transcaucasia. The 
Diet sought to conclude peace with them, but the 
Ottoman command replied that it would deal only 
with sovereign nations, separately or jointly. The 
Diet then voted on April 27 to declare Transcau- 
casian independence, against the protests of the 
Armenians, Russians and several Georgians. The 
Armenians thereupon left the Diet. On May 25 
it declared the establishment of the independent 
republics of Georgia and Azerbaijan, and the fol- 
lowing day it dissolved. 

But the Turks continued to press on, and the 
Georgians were compelled to seek protection in 
Berlin. Perhaps it was due to Germany's in- 
fluence that Turkey finally consented to conclude 
peace with Georgia. The Turkish-Georgian treaty 
was a direct violation of the Brest-Litovsk pact. 
Turkey, in addition to the territory obtained by 
the latter agreement, now wrested from weak 
Georgia the Achalkalaki district of the Tiflis prov- 


Azerbaijan is the name of the Tartar Republic 
set up in Transcaucasia in May, 1918. It extends 
along the lower part of the western Caspian coast 
from the Caucasus range to the Persian province 
of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan forms a state of about 
30,000 square miles, including the Russian prov- 
inces of Baku, Elizavetpol and Daghestan, and 
some Persian territory to the south, with a popu- 
lation of more than 3,000,000. 

There are several million Tartars in Russia, 
scattered in the Crimea, the Volga basin, Siberia 
and Transcaucasia. The Tartars of the latter ter- 
ritory are the least entitled to bear that name. 
They represent a mixture of races and tribes, with 
Turkish blood predominating in their veins. Their 
historical claims to the country they now inhabit 
are as strong as Turkey's claims to Anatolia. The 
Turks and Tartars occupied these regions in com- 
paratively rec-ent times. The Persians have a 
stronger historical claim to Azerbaijan. They 
were there before Ghengiz Khan. They still have 
there a considerable minority in the population. 



Because the Transcaucasian Tartars first 
invaded the Persian province of Azerbaijan and 
later moved northward to their present location, 
they are described as Azerbaijan Tartars, and 
hence the name of their Republic. However, the 
Persians point to the signs of Persian culture ex- 
isting among the original inhabitants of the Tar- 
tar provinces before the arrival of the Mongols, 
to support their claim to control them now. Thus, 
they say, Zoroaster himself was a native of Azer- 
baijan; some of the leading Persian poets in the 
tenth and eleventh centuries hailed from there; 
while from Baku to Tabriz monuments of Persian 
architecture are scattered. 

The Persians ' strongest claim is, however, their 
possession of the Tartar lands up to the time 
Russia became interested in Transcaucasia. There 
are in fact nearly two hundred thousand people 
in Azerbaijan, in the province of Baku, who are 
of Iranian stock. These are the Tates, who speak 
a Persian dialect. But in religion they are one 
with the Tartars, being Shiah Mohammedans. Be- 
sides, they have identified themselves with Tartar 
nationalism, adopting even the latter 's language 
and traditions. 

Under Persian domination the Tartars enjoyed 
self-government. Their land was divided into 
eight klianates. The khans owned nearly aU the 
land, so that they were in effect feudal princes, 
paying tribute to Persia. Turkey and Persia 


fought repeatedly over the Tartar provinces, caus- 
ing terrible suffering to the Transcaucasian 
Christians, the Armenians and the Georgians, who 
finally appealed to Russia for help. It was in 
1722 that Peter the Great sent an expedition to 
conquer Baku and Derbent. Since then Russia's 
penetration of Transcaucasia continued methodi- 
cally and relentlessly. In 1813 the six northern 
Tartar khanates definitely passed from Persia into 
the possession of Russia. In 1828 Russia and 
Persia again came to grips, and this time the last 
two khanates of Erivan and Nakhchiva became 
provinces of the Tsar's empire. The Russian con- 
quest of the Tartars was accomplished largely 
with the help of the Armenians, who had been op- 
pressed by the khans. 

"'After the Russian occupation," writes Luigi 
Villari, ''this oppression ceased and some sort 
of order and justice was established. Yet, al- 
though deprived of political power, the khans and 
begs still preserved great influence in the country, 
and the Tartar peasantry looked upon them as 
their hereditary chiefs, whom it was their duty 
to obey. Nor were the Tartar estates touched ; on 
the contrary, owing to the more settled state of 
the country, they increased in value. Russian 
nobility was conferred on the chiefs, who were 
treated with every mark of respect, and often 
given official positions in the army, the civil serv- 
ice, and the local administration. But the Moslem, 


oonununity could not forget that the loss of their 
predominance was largely due to the Armenians, 
for which they never forgave them. . . . 

'*A more serious cause of hostility is the fact 
that the Tartars have all, more or less, the instinct 
of brigandage. From time immemorial they have 
been raiders, and to this day many villages have 
no other means of livelihood than plunder. The 
khans themselves, especially in the mountains, are 
often little better than robber barons, who keep 
hosts of armed retainers to forage them. . . . 
A large number of Tartars are still nomads, and 
migrate annually from the mountains to the plains 
and from the plains to the mountains with their 
flocks and herds. In the course of these peregri- 
nations they frequently come into armed conflict 
with the sedentary Armenians, and murders, out- 
rages, and abduction of cattle are the result. . . . 

''The Tartars are in every respect the opposite 
of the Armenians. Their outward characteristics 
are most sympathetic. They have a dignity of 
bearing and a charm of manner which endear them 
to all who come in contact with them. These qual- 
ities are indeed common to most Mohammedans, 
who have a chivalry and gentlemanliness which 
makes us forget even serious faults, and disregard 
the wrongs and sufferings which they inflict on less 
attractive Christian peoples. They have been a 
ruling military caste for centuries, and this has 
made them an aristocracy of grands seigneurs. I 


have met Tartars whom, although I knew them 
to be utter scoundrels, I could not help liking. 
There is something magnificently mediaeval about 
them which the virtuous but bourgeois Armenian 
lacks. . . . 

'^The Tartars are extraordinarily backward in 
their development, and as ignorant and barbarous 
as any race in Asia ; for this the Russian govern- 
ment is largely to blame, as it has hitherto dis- 
couraged education among them, whUe they them- 
selves seldom trouble to provide schools of their 
own. Until quite recently no Tartar newspapers 
were permitted, except one at Bakhtchi Sarai in 
the Crimea, the number of mullahs, the only 
teachers for a large part of the people, has been 
strictly limited, and the Moslem faith placed in 
a position of tutelage under an officially appointed 
Sheikh-ul-Islam. ' * 

In 1905 the Tsar's agents in Transcaucasia 
made use of the ignorance and backwardness of 
the Tartars to incite them against the Armenians. 
There followed numerous massacres and feuds, 
resulting in great bloodshed, which played into 
the hands of the Russian authorities. However, 
in October, 1905, when the revolution seemed tri- 
umphant and the Caucasus was swept by the hurri- 
cane of freedom, new relations were established 
between the Tartars and Armenians, especially the 
workers of both races in the oil region. The re- 
action that followed again fostered race hatred. 


but the seeds of enlightenment sown by the Revo- 
lution in October soon yielded fruit. 

The Persian Revolution reverberated deeply 
among the Tartars and the Turkish Revolution 
stirred them even more profoundly. The Tartars 
awoke to the call of civilization and nationalism. 
They realized that the Russian autocracy was 
their first and most dangerous enemy. The Young 
Turks naturally encouraged the nationalist re- 
vival among the Tartars, especially when the Pan- 
Turkish, or Turanian, movement came into being 
in the Ottoman Empire. In September, 1914, the 
Turkish delegates who came to Erzerum to ask 
Armenia's support of Turkey in the war with 
Russia, indicated that the Ottoman government 
planned to conquer aU Transcaucasia and set up 
in its eastern part a Tartar Republic under the 
suzerainty of the Porte. The Russian Revolution 
of 1917, however, swung the Tartars at first to 
the side of free Russia. They entered the Trans- 
caucasian Diet, formed in January, 1918, with a 
view to such a future orientation. But then came 
Russia's collapse. Immediately the separatist 
national sentiments of the Tartars, as well as of 
the Georgians and Armenians, asserted them- 
selves. When Turkey, the moral backer of Tartar 
nationalism, invaded the Caucasus to carry out 
the provisions of the Brest-Litovsk treaty, the Ar- 
menians advocated resistance, the Georgians hesi- 


tated, while the Tartars took a friendly stand to- 
ward Turkey. 

The Diet dissolved after declaring Transcau- 
casian independence and the creation of the sepa- 
rate sovereign Republics of Azerbaijan and 
Georgia. Since May 26, 1918, therefore, there has 
been in existence a Tartar state, with its capital 
at Baku. The friendly relations between Azerbai- 
jan and Turkey placed the rich oil wells of the 
country at the disposal of the Central Powers. 
The Armenians and Russians united to take pos- 
session of Baku, and with the reinforcement of a 
small British contingent they held the city and its 
vicinity till the Tartars, reinforced by a Turkish- 
German army, succeeded, in the summer of 1918, 
in capturing the capital of the Azerbaijan Repub- 
lic. Shortly aftei'wards, however, the British and 
Armenians, upon the withdrawal of Turks and 
Germans, again occupied Baku and its vicinity. 

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